Category Archives: Leadership Election

Ed’s Days – 1-2 July 2019

Ed and Jo spent a lot of the day togeher.

Here they are at Sky News

And then together at Channel 4 News:

And it was Ed’s turn to have a Facebook Live with Chuka:

Visiting the Pride pop up shop

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Jo’s Days – 1-2 July 2019

Yesterday was the all important voting day. As ballots were being dispatched, Jo and Ed were on Sky News.

And on to Channel 4

And an hour with Iain Dale…..

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Ed’s Weekend – 29-30 June 2019

The final weekend of Ed’s campaign was as hectic as the previous month.

Talking to Nick Robinson on the BBC Political Thinking podcast.

Backing Hong Kong citizens:

Thanking forces on their day

And on to that Stratford hustings:

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Jo’s weekend – 29-30 June 2019

The final weekend of the campaign saw a massive push for votes by both leadership candidates.

But for Jo, Saturday was a special day. Her son Gabriel’s first birthday.  In a Twitter thread, she described the events of 29 June 2018.

But before any birthday cake could be consumed, it was the final hustings of the campaign  at ALDC’s Kickstart event in Stratford-upon-Avon.

An interesting graphic from the Sunday People for an article by Jo on Boris:

There’s plenty of evidence of Boris Johnson’s character in the public domain already.

We know he’s a liar. He’s been sacked for it twice – once by a newspaper and then by Michael Howard.

And that was long before he toured the country with a big fat lie emblazoned on the side of his bus.

We know he has no hesitation using hurtful, divisive language – calling black people picaninnies with water melon smiles or Muslim women letterboxes.

We know that he is irresponsible.

As Foreign Secretary his blunders were used as evidence by Iran against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

As London Mayor, he wasted public money on a series of vanity projects like a Garden Bridge to Nowhere and an airport in the Thames Estuary that never took off.

And she appeared on Ridge on Sunday:

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Jo’s Day – 28 June 2019

Friday started with an endorsement for Jo (£) from the Independent:

Sir Ed trumpets his greater experience, which would serve the party well in such troubled times for the country. But we think Ms Swinson’s instincts on the critical issue of relations with other parties make her the right choice for Lib Dem members.

And a message on the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

The G20 needs to fix the world’s broken social contract, argued Jo in a piece for Wired:

We need a hopeful vision for the future, powered by a strong, liberal voice that understands that the new economy can neither be left to its own devices or be overly-managed by the state. Rather, it must be harnessed for the benefit of everyone. And it must take the public with us, building trust by placing liberal values of privacy, accountability, and transparency at its core.

The UK can and must be at the forefront of this change, leading the G20 and the world in creating an ethical tech-led economy centred on social well-being and environmental sustainability. That means overhauling how our society works, valuing the strengths of empathy, passion, and resilience that make us human, while embracing technology as an indispensable ally in meeting our biggest challenges.

In fairness to Ed, we do have to put a massive health warning before the next item. YouGov did a poll to determine the outcome of the next election around various scenarios of potential Labour Party policies.

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Ed’s Day – 28 June 2019

Our Netflix style binge through the last week of the leadership campaign before the ballots come out tomorrow nears its conclusion.

For Ed, Friday started with a reflection on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Challenging Putin on the end of liberalism

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Ed’s Day – 27 June 2019

Victoria Derbyshire’s live tv hustings has been covered here, but here’s Ed’s take.

Here’s his opening pitch.

And talking again about climate change:

Slamming Boris on immigration:

Immigration has been a great thing for our country. But politicians like Johnson have vilified those coming to help build and contribute to our great country for their own political gain in the Brexit debate.

Yet businesses across the country are already having to deal with acute shortages of staff thanks to the Brexit uncertainty, and this proposal from our potential next PM does nothing to solve that. If implemented, an Australian-style visa cap would only make it worse.

Johnson is only pandering to the likes of Farage, who has long pushed for this kind of unfair system. Nigel Farage ought to be the last person a potential Prime Minister should be looking to for inspiration on how to run a fair and effective immigration system.

Then off to the Gatwick hustings;

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Jo’s Day – 26 June 2019

On Wednesday, the world was incredulously amused at Boris’s revelation that he liked to make model buses.

Jo got it, though:

Jo was also at the Climate Lobby

Onto the Lobby Hustings

And then a Facebook Live with our newest MP, Chuka Umunna.

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Ed’s Day – 26 June 2019

Wednesday saw a mass lobby of Parliament on the climate emergency. Ed was there:

Then thee was a hustings with Parliament’s journalists:

He elaborated on his Government of National Unity to stop Brexit idea as Politics Home reported:

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Jo’s Day – 25 June 2019

Continuing our catch-up for the two leadership candidates.

On Tuesday, Jo’s interview with our former editors Mark Pack and Stephen Tall came out.

And sharing photos of constituency visits.

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Ed’s Day – 25 June 2019

Our campaign diaries have fallen a bit by the wayside this week due to life and illness getting in the way. But we decided to catch up now so we have a full record of the campaign and so that you can binge watch, Netflix style, in the couple of days before the ballot papers arrive.

So, let’s go back to Tuesday.

Boris and Jeremy are getting the Iain Dale treatment at Conservative hustings around the country. He interviewed Ed on his radio show on Tuesday night.

Watch the whole thing here:

Earlier, he had been working cross party to challenge the impact of privatising the visa application process was having on people, forcing them to travel long distances to make applications.

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Ed’s Day – 24 June 2019

Ed started the week by having a good go at Boris on Politics LIve

And then on to the New Statesman hustings tonight.

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Jo’s Day – 24 June 2019

Monday started with Bollocks to Boris as well as Brexit- an article in The Times (£)

How much hardship will now be endured to satisfy Boris Johnson’s ego? How many families will find life harder for the sake of his ambition? How many patients will wait, propped up on plastic chairs in hospital corridors, for that £350 million a week he promised on the side of a bus?

One thing is for certain, Boris doesn’t care. Consequences are for other people. Just ask Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

And what do the Lib Dems offer?

Britain needs leaders who are up front and honest about the choices facing our country. I make no apology for wanting to stop Brexit — whatever version we end up getting will be a national disaster. And I’m not afraid to make that case to the British people.

The Liberal Democrats were the first to call for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal and I am proud to have been the party’s lead in that campaign, working alongside people of all parties and none in pursuit of a common goal. The European elections have now proved that we are UK’s biggest and strongest party of Remain.

And tonight, she and Ed took part in the New Statesman hustings.

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Jo’s Weekend – 21-23 June 2019

Jo’s interview with the New European came out:

I ask Jo Swinson why she should lead the Liberal Democrats and she takes a deep breath and manages to get it out in all of three sentences. “I’m the best person to lead the movement because I can reach out to new voters, through traditional broadcast media, where I have a high profile, and through social media, where I have a high following.

I also think I can reach out across the generations and across the country. I have cross-party relationships and a non-tribal style, which I think is exactly what we need at the moment.”

And she talks about the need for a more diverse country:

I recognise that ours is still a racist country. We have not dealt with those issues as much as we would have liked to, even if there has been progress in some areas. I would hope that one day soon we could have a black leader of a political party.

Ours should be a country where every individual has an opportunity to thrive. That is not currently the case – partly on the basis of race, gender, disability, socio-economic background, sexual orientation or whatever – and, as it is, we are probably in line for another Etonian prime minister. Quite frankly, a large number of people are still not achieving their potential in our country, and, as a liberal, I am not happy with that and want to change it.

In Wales, she met Welsh Leader and Brecon and Radnorshire by-election candidate Jane Dodds.

 

And in Cornwall she was helping campaign for fairer NHS funding for the county:

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Ed’s weekend – 21-23 June 2019

We last left Ed about to go on Question Time on Thursday night.  You can, and should, watch the whole thing here. He answered very effectively questions about Boris (which sparked his lengthy and brilliant Twitter rant of many of the worst things Boris has done), Brexit and knife crime and the importance of winning the arguments on vaccinating children.

On Friday, it was time for his Politics Home interview:

He talked about his idea for a government of national unity:

Davey is clear he would like to be Prime Minister. However, in the current Brexit deadlock, he is also advocating a Government of National Unity.

“I think there are just about enough MPs from a plethora of parties who are so alarmed at a no deal prospect, who are so alarmed at the way our politics has been polluted by these hard-right Brexiteers, that they will come together. It will not be easy, but I could see a backbench Labour MP, I wouldn’t name them but you can guess who they might be, being given support from enough people from enough parties that we could send a message to the Palace that if they send for that member of Parliament they will be able to command a majority of the House of Commons.”

He says that this “Government of National Unity” would not be a coalition. “It would be a temporary phenomenon in order to stop no-deal. In order pass the paving legislation for a people’s vote and then be a caretaker government to oversee the process until that vote happened.”

He talks about the Lib Dems being the party of business:

“I’m pro-competition. I’m pro-entrepreneur. I’m pro-free trade. It is in our liberal economic agenda, but we do not think markets are there to tell us what to do, we’re there, through democratic means, to shape those markets.”

Davey says there are lots of examples of this in action, but “the one I’m focussing on is climate change”. “It is absolutely outrageous that people in our country are allowed to not take account of climate change risks in their decisions. We are facing a climate emergency.”

The former Environment Secretary wants to make sure “all these institutions and corporates have to disclose both their investments in fossil fuels”.

He wrote a blistering article in the Independent about how the Tories have learned nothing from their Windrush Scandal failure:
A year on from the first Windrush Day, the hostile environment is as hostile as ever.

These policies, which turn teachers, doctors, police officers and bank clerks into border guards, are exactly the policies that led members of the Windrush generation to be deprived their rights, detained and even deported. The Windrush scandal should have been the end of them. And yet, for all the Conservatives’ apologising and hand-wringing, they remain in force

Most outrageous is the Conservatives’ refusal to scrap their “right to rent” law. This requires landlords to check the immigration status of tenants or prospective tenants, with the threat of a criminal conviction if they rent to someone they shouldn’t.

When the Conservatives first tried to introduce this law in 2014, the Liberal Democrats in government blocked it. We argued that making landlords criminally responsible for immigration enforcement would lead to racial discrimination.

He highlighted the story of the man who had to sleep in a shed because he had no way of proving he had the right to stay here.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has shown clearly, through a “mystery shopper” exercise, that the Liberal Democrats’ fears were well-founded. On the basis of that and other supporting evidence, the High Court ruled in March that the Conservatives’ “right to rent” policy breaches fundamental human rights because it essentially forces private landlords to discriminate against prospective tenants who are Bame or who don’t have a British passport.

What would we do about it?

That’s why the Liberal Democrats would take responsibility for immigration away from the Home Office altogether.

The Departments for Business, Education and International Development should make policy on work permits, student visas and asylum respectively. And we would set up a new, arms-length, non-political agency to take over the actual processing of visa and asylum applications, with the training and resources to process applications quickly, decide cases fairly, and get them right the first time.

He also wrote for the Huffington Post about why we need a Boris-busting Remain Alliance:

Anyone who hopes Johnson won’t commit a Brexit calamity is basing that on his dishonesty. And he is indeed capable of yanking up the handbrake on the Brexit bus and committing a massive, shameless u-turn. But we cannot rely on him for that or indeed anything else.

Which is why a Remain Alliance is needed in Parliament, anchored around the Liberal Democrats – the only major national party to call for a People’s Vote from the get go and now with the democratic legitimacy of having beaten every other party in Parliament in last month’s European elections.

This Remain Alliance must first stop a no-deal Brexit. From a Humble Address to Her Majesty to passing a new law requiring a vote of MPs before the UK could leave the EU, we must examine every option to stop Boris. And we must be ready to use Parliament’s ultimate weapon – a vote of no confidence in a Johnson government.

There were hustings this weekend in Wales – good coincidence on the day that we find out that there’s going to be a by-election in a seat that we used to hold following the recall of the MP who was convicted of submitting a fraudulent invoice.

 

And he cleaned the beach in Bude ahead of the Cornwall hustings:

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Jo’s Day – 19 June 2019

Jo’s day started by tackling the Secretary of State for Scotland about the impact of Brexit and the prospect of No Deal on her constituency:

Brexit is already having an impact on East Dunbartonshire’s major employers. Aviva has announced that there will be job losses in the coming years, and a major engineering firm—an award-winning exporter—has told me about the negative impact Brexit is having on its business. Knowing what he does about the devastating impact on Scotland, how can the Secretary of State possibly countenance the no-deal or hard Brexit being offered by his colleagues in his party’s leadership election?

She was, with Ed, on the Jeremy Vine Show. Listen here from around 42:56.

On coalition, she said that we made the right decision to go in and we got a lot of things right but if we take the credit for successes we need to be honest about where we got it wrong – like the Bedroom Tax.

She attacked David Cameron for framing our relationship with the EU as a transactional relationship about benefits for Polish plumbers rather than a strategic necessity for our country.

She talked about a more pluralist politics where you work together with people in other parties.

And she was challenged on local Lib Dems fighting onshore wind farms which we are supposed to be in favour of.

She talked about targeting support for people who are impacted by particular policies.

Later,  she did a Facebook Q & A of her own:

An interview with the Press Association was reported in the Belfast Telegraph:

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Ed’s Day – 19 June 2019

It’s Wednesday, it’s eve of poll, and there’s a by-election in Merton

Earlier, Ed and Jo were on the Jeremy Vine Show talking about the coalition.  He said he was proud of our record in the coalition, that we put country before party and did so many good things, quadrupling nuclear power, raising the state pension and taking many people out of income tax. He highlighted Norman Lamb’s work on mental health.

He talked about the compromises we had to make go give the country stable government. He contrasted with this “appalling” government. Apart from Brexit, he said that austerity has got worse under the Tories.

He highlighted recent gains to say that Lib Dems are on the up.

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Ed’s Day – 18 June 2019

It’s been a very busy day for Ed Davey too.

From tackling transphobia on Mumsnet

And answering the Radical Association’s questions:

Liberal Democrats believe the market is our servant not our master. We want a mixed economy, and a diverse set of ownership models. We want to make sure markets don’t mistreat workers or the planet. Decarbonising capitalism is a profoundly radical approach to reforming the City, banks, stock exchanges, pension funds and debt markets – and is entirely in line with an approach of “responsible capitalism” promoted by Vince Cable, with new stronger regulations for better Environmental, Social and Governance policies for business. The reforms I introduced as Energy and Climate Change Secretary to reform the electricity market and to promote energy efficiency showed what can be achieved, by smart government intervention – as we saw renewable energy boom and I brought in minimum energy efficiency regulations for the rented sector.

I certainly don’t see the traditional shareholder corporate model as the only one. When I was a junior minister in BIS I worked closely with Co-op UK to push collective purchasing by consumers and then introduced this to the energy market through collective switching. I insisted that there should be a significant employee ownership of Royal Mail and am only sorry that after I left BIS the Tories scaled back the ambitious scale of employee ownership which we had. I introduced legislation which will allow a future government to mutualise the Post Office. At DECC I pushed for and published the UK’s first ever community energy strategy for renewables to provide a challenge to incumbent energy operators and after leaving government chaired a community energy company, helping many communities get into solar and even wind power. So I am passionately committed to delivering much wider forms of ownership than the traditional forms of corporate ownership.

And on rebuilding the party:

The inspiring thing is how a relatively small number of people can make a massive impact. Whether that was in past Lynne Featherstone in Hornsey and Wood Green to more recently Hannah Kitching in Barnsley and Adam Carter in Rotherham, big breakthroughs can be made. Often stronger nearby parties have helped in providing advice and support such as the Sheffield party in Rotherham but we can perhaps make this rather more structured.

And we also need to recognise that strong national messages appealing to people who share our values can have a massive impact. Who would have thought that in the European elections that we we would win boroughs such as Wandsworth and Westminster where we have no Councillors currently? As Leader my role will be to ensure that we put those supportive structures in place and that we have those clear national messages.

To be honest, there’s also the issue of raising money for the party. We have failed to hit fundraising targets in recent years – so we need to do much better. I believe I can go to businesses and individuals interested in our European ideas and our decarbonisation ideas, and get them to back us – and if we can raise significant extra funding, we can support less well-off areas, and support the rebuilding of the party in different parts of the country.

And talking to Liberal Reform:

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Jo’s Day – 18 June 2019

A busy day for Jo today.

Backing Stella Creasy on parental leave for MPs.

And appearing on Channel 4 News to talk about how important it was to do this in 2019.

Realising who Boris is really scared of…

Tackling the health secretary on protecting our NHS data in future post Brexit talks

And talking to the Times (£) about possible Remain pacts:

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Ed’s Day – June 2019

Today was mostly about the online hustings – as Sal Brinton said, the first to be held online by a political party in the UK to choose its leader.

Here are some of his highlights:

 

Earlier, he had visited a project in his constituency as part of Learning Disabilities Week:

And he had a wide-ranging interview with the New Statesman:

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Ed’s weekend – 16 June 2019

For Ed, the Nottingham hustings were a return to the place of his birth.

He spoke to the local newspaper.

I’ve always been very fond of Nottingham and I’m actually a Notts County supporter. It’s been a very difficult year for us but hopefully we’ll bounce back.”

He faced a challenging time aged 12 when his mother developed secondary bone cancer, and he became her carer for the next three years, before her death.

He was then brought up by his grandparents.

He added: “I was extremely fortunate to earn a scholarship to study at the Nottingham High School for 10 years, before I moved on to university.”

There’s a barrier between him and Ken Clarke, though:

“I am an admirer of Ken Clarke as a Conservative who has stood by his beliefs with Europe. Only problem is, he’s a Forest fan.”

Ed remembered Jo Cox on the third anniversary of her murder:

And he’s not impressed that some funders of the Johnson and Hunt campaigns are climate change deniers.

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Jo’s Weekend – 15-16 June 2019

It’s the third weekend of the campaign and that means hustings. From the north west on Friday night, the hustings train moved to Leeds on Saturday morning and Nottingham in the evening.

She took time to remember Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was murdered 3 years ago today.

This Radio 4 profile featured some familiar voices and you can find out which band she liked as a teenager, listen to a  fascinating excerpt from a school essay and find out the first song at her wedding – as well as some anecdotes from her first election campaign.

And there’s always room for a Douglas Adams reference:

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What do I want from our new Leader?

There will be those of our readers who have made a decision in favour of #EdForLeader or #JoinJo, but for many, especially the newer ones, they may still be deciding. Here’s one member’s criteria for making his mind up, which may give you some more things to think about…

So we are to have a contested Leadership election this time. Given that both (at the time of writing) declared Candidates come from similar parts of the party and there is not much to choose between them on major policy issues (and that in our Party Policy is not the sole preserve …

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Leadership hustings – a chance to discuss the future of the party with Vince Cable

The first Leadership hustings will take place this Saturday in London.

Why a hustings, I hear you ask, given that there is only one candidate? Technically nominations close next Monday, so until then the advice is that we cannot assume that there will not be a contest (although, of course, the chances of a challenge are minimal).

The Social Liberal Forum Conference is holding the hustings at 1.30pm at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA. Vince Cable has agreed to take part. If any other candidates do come forward before Saturday then they will, of course, be invited.

Whilst any party member is welcome to attend the hustings for free, we would love it if you could sign up for the whole day’s conference. In the morning the theme will be ‘The Retreat from Globalisation’ with some eminent speakers, while the afternoon will be devoted to more local issues including the Leadership election and a review of the General Election. You can register here: www.socialliberal.net/slfconf2017.

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Leadership election

The timetable for the election of a new Leader for the Liberal Democrats has been announced. Here are the key dates:

Opening of nominations: 26th June (today)

Deadline for nominations: 20th July

Despatch of ballot papers to members: 16th August

Close of ballot: 11th September

Verification, count and declaration: 13th September

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Green Liberal Democrats question Tim Farron and Norman Lamb

 

We have published a number of posts in which the two candidates have answered questions on specific policy areas or for particular audiences posed by our readers:

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Opinion: Now is the time for social liberals to organise, and quickly

A member for 13 years, this is only the fifth time (out of five) that I have been a candidate and lost; it’s only the ninth set of elections that I have been involved with, all of which have been characterised by losses.  I realise that I am only a beginner compared to many folk in this wonderful political family of ours.

In our part of the world, there are elections (of some form or other) almost every year.  And I admit, particularly after the results became clear last Thursday, to have started to flag a bit.

But as the days have gone by since polling day, I have gradually begun to take heart.

Much has been made of the encouraging numbers of people that are joining the party.  The era of everything being the Lib Dems’ fault is now well and truly over.  As a result of Nick’s gracious resignation, we have the opportunity of a leadership election in which we can, as a party, make an important decision about the future.

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‘The Age of Ming’ – Tue 23 June, BBC Radio 4, 11am

If you have the chance, you can listen live to BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Age of Ming’ tomorrow, Tuesday, at 11 am. If you don’t have the chance, there’s always Listen Again. Here’s the BBC online article:

Sir Menzies Campbell lasted less than two years as leader of the Liberal Democrats. Many believe he was hounded out of office by a media obsessed with his age and appearance. The former Olympic athlete protests that, after his admittedly shaky start in the Commons, views were formed in the press that never wavered.

His background should have been an image-maker’s dream: born into

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Labour, Lewisham and the BNP

As previously featured on LDV, Duwayne Brooks was running to be a Liberal Democrat councillor in one of yesterday’s by-elections. Duwayne, along with fellow candidate Jenni Clutten, won. Congratulations to them both.

Labour’s campaign was at times, shall we say, unusual, with a heavy emphasis in their leaflets of a plan of their to have the Union Jack* flying over Lewisham Town Hall. As Dave Hill has written over on The Guardian:

How does that work for you? It made me a little queasy. Shouldn’t Labour concentrate on exposing the BNP for what it is rather than pandering to the nationalism

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Kirsty’s win – what folk are saying

Congratulations from all at Lib Dem Voice to Kirsty Williams on becoming the first elected female leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. There’s more coverage over at the Welsh Lib Dems website, but here’s a few brief snippets from today’s papers:

Kirsty Williams makes political history (WalesOnline.co.uk)

KIRSTY WILLIAMS made history yesterday as she won the battle to become the new leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats – and with it the first woman ever to lead a major party in Wales.
She defeated former acting Deputy First Minister Jenny Randerson by 910 votes to 612 to succeed Mike German.

Ms Williams, 37, responded to her victory by vowing to fight all three of the Lib Dems’ rival parties. The Brecon & Radnorshire AM said: “My message to the other political parties is ‘Watch out – we are coming to get you’.”

Williams election ‘breaks mould’ (BBC.co.uk)
Kirsty Williams said she had “broken the mould” after being elected Wales’ first female party leader in the Welsh Liberal Democrat leadership contest. … Ms Williams, aged 37, launched her leadership bid saying she wanted to embrace the party’s talent to achieve success “in all parts of Wales”. … She said her party had to reach out to people who felt let down by politics and the assembly and she had “something unique to offer the people of Wales”.

“As a party we have broken the mould today by electing a woman,” she said. “If you have been turned off by politics, by the way the Labour Party has let Wales down, or the Conservatives’ attitude, or Plaid’s abandonment of principles, then come. We will re-ignite the flame of liberalism that once burnt so bright in this country. I am determined as leader of this party that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will blaze a trail for a new politics in Wales.”

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  • User AvatarPaul Griffiths 17th Aug - 2:06pm
    @ Andy One of the reasons that we are polling well, particularly in winnable Tory constituencies, is that Jo has previously ruled out supporting a...
  • User AvatarDavid Warren 17th Aug - 1:48pm
    I have long hoped for democracy in China, the fact that a previously Stalinist style regime has introduced capitalism whilst maintaining a totalitarian political system...
  • User AvatarAndy 17th Aug - 1:46pm
    Some, or all of that may be true. But the alternative for the Lib Dems is going to the country after no-deal, i.e., Brexit done...
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 17th Aug - 1:42pm
    The advantage of a General Election before Brexit is that The Brexit Party would be standing and cause issues for The Conservatives. How would history...
  • User AvatarPaul Griffiths 17th Aug - 1:33pm
    If putting No Deal on the ballot paper with Remain and WA is the price that has to be paid to get a PeoplesVote at...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 17th Aug - 1:28pm
    As Oliver Letwin has admitted, " You can't just say 'I don't want a no deal exit' you also have to say what you want...
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