Category Archives: Wales

19 January 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Rob Blackie: Flashy Fares Freeze Fools No One
  • Welsh Lib Dems push for Senedd reform

Rob Blackie: Flashy Fares Freeze Fools No One

Following Sadiq Khan’s announcement he is freezing fares for a year, Lib Dem Candidate for London Mayor, Rob Blackie, said:

Sadiq Khan’s flashy fare freeze fools no one. It is typical of a Mayor who prefers delivering headlines to delivering for Londoners.

We all know the state of Transport for London’s finances and so the Mayor will simply claw this back through other means – most likely after votes have been cast. It is simply an election year gimmick.

After eight years of mismanagement, the Mayor has repeatedly cancelled investments like the Sutton tram – only now to find money down the back of the sofa for an election campaign sweetener.

Khan can’t be trusted to run Transport for London.

Welsh Lib Dems push for Senedd reform

The Senedd Reform Bill Committee today published its report ahead of the introduction of the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill.

Jane Dodds MS sits as a member of the committee and has played a fundamental role in the scrutiny of the electoral method proposed by the Welsh Government.

Ahead of the upcoming Senedd reforms, the party have set out their position to see the Senedd expanded in terms of its members whilst also pushing for the fairest electoral system possible with the introduction of the Single Transferable Vote system.

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11 January 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems call for Ofcom investigation on GB News “bias and misleading” reporting of Post Office scandal
  • Double by-election: Conservative majority being whittled away
  • NHS waiting lists soar by 400,000 since Sunak made pledge to cut them

Lib Dems call for Ofcom investigation on GB News “bias and misleading” reporting of Post Office scandal

  • Deputy Leader slams Farage and Conservative MP presenters for “bias, misleading and at times, frankly absurd news reporting”
  • Conservative politicians lining up to host TV shows in election year whilst refusing to criticise their own party

The Liberal Democrats have written to Ofcom to demand an investigation into the reporting of the Post Office Horizon scandal by Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Lee Anderson.

The party has noted that the Reform Party Chairman Farage and Conservative MP Rees-Mogg both failed to report on the scandal impartially, after they attacked opposition parties without including the Conservative government’s role.

In a letter to the Chief Executive of Ofcom, Daisy Cooper MP also noted that Lee Anderson cannot be trusted to report without bias on the matter, after non-stop attacks on the Leader of the Liberal Democrats on social media and in the House of Commons.

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10 January 2024 – today’s Welsh press releases

  • “Urgent action needed to beat the clock in climate fight”- Welsh Lib Dems
  • Jane Dodds MS calls for more mental health support for rural Wales
  • “Now’s the time to capitalise on Green energy”- Welsh Lib Dems
  • “It’s time to call an end to child poverty”- Welsh Lib Dems

“Urgent action needed to beat the clock in climate fight”- Welsh Lib Dems

Today, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on both the Welsh Labour Government and the UK Conservative government to get serious on tackling the climate crisis.

According to BBC analysis, the year 2023 has been confirmed as the hottest year on record. And last week, the Met Office reported that the UK experienced its second warmest year on record in 2023.

Commenting, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds said:

I was deeply concerned to hear that this past calendar year has been confirmed to be the hottest on record.

If the past few years of extreme weather and soaring temperatures have not been a wake-up call, then this one should surely send alarm bells ringing both in Cardiff Bay and Westminster.

We desperately need urgent action to help us beat the clock in this fight against climate change.

Make no mistake, there is no do over. We can either make peace with our failures or fight not just for our future, but for our children’s and their children’s futures.

So, I ask governments across the globe, not just here in the UK, what will it be?

How will you want to be remembered for what you did during the greatest crisis humanity has ever encountered?

Jane Dodds MS calls for more mental health support for rural Wales

Today in the Senedd, Jane Dodds MS has called on the Welsh Government to improve access to mental health support and substance support for people living in rural areas.

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9 January 2024 – today’s Welsh press releases

  • “No more tinkering, we need bravery”- Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds sets out her priorities for new FM
  • Welsh Lib Dems urge for clarity over future of Bwndel Babi scheme
  • Welsh Lib Dems criticise Welsh Labour government over “lack of vision” with budget
  • “Communities must feel that they are being listened to when it comes to their safety”- Welsh Lib Dems urge Welsh Government

“No more tinkering, we need bravery”- Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds sets out her priorities for new FM

Today, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds has urged both Welsh Labour leadership candidates to set out a new vision for Wales.

Current Health minister Vaughan Gething and Education minister Jeremy Miles are both in the race to become the new FM following the resignation of Mark Drakeford.

Commenting, leader of the Welsh Lib Dems Jane Dodds said:

The start of a new year brings with it a chance for renewed optimism. And with a new First Minister set to take charge this coming spring, a chance for a fresh approach to how Wales is being run should in theory be just around the corner.

What we have heard from both candidates so far is that they will be taking the same “steady as she goes” approach. More tinkering, more managerialism, and not the vision for the future that people desperately need.

We don’t want to see any more conservatism from Welsh Labour, what we need is a First Minister who is willing to take a bold and brave new direction for our country.

We need a new vision for a thriving economy, a fresh start for our NHS, an innovative democracy, and creating a nation of second chances where everyone has the opportunity to get ahead. We need a fair deal for every corner and every person across our country.

For far too long now the Labour party have stood by and watched as our country, our government, and our parliament has been dragged into the mud by an indifferent UK Conservative government.

We need a Labour party, at both ends of the M4, willing to stand up and demand that Wales gets its fair share.

No more tinkering about and searching for excuses, now is the time for bravery.

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20 April 2022 -today’s press releases

  • 4.3 million anti-social behaviour reports go unattended by police in past five years
  • Lib Dems demand food summit in Downing Street to tackle “tsunami” of rising food prices
  • Welsh Health Statistics – Emergency Social Care Plan Needed
  • Raab Report: More dither and delay

4.3 million anti-social behaviour reports go unattended by police in past five years

  • Over 2,000 incidents of anti-social behaviour went unattended by police each day last year
  • Some police forces attending fewer than one in five (19%) incidents
  • Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey calls for “return to proper community policing” with more bobbies on the beat

A staggering 4.3 million reports of anti-social behaviour have …

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17 April 2023 – today’s press releases (fersiwn Cymraeg)

  • Lib Dems Welcome Bannau Brycheiniog Name Change
  • Any Plans for Cardiff Congestion Charge Should be Put to a Referendum

Lib Dems Welcome Bannau Brycheiniog Name Change

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcome the change of name for the Brecon Beacons Nation Park to its original Welsh name Bannau Brycheiniog stating that it is a positive move to use the history of the region to help build a successful future for the Park.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds said:

It’s great to see the re-introduction of the name Bannau Brycheiniog today. The message put forward by the

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4-5 April 2023 – catching up with the press releases…

  • Social care funding halved: Elderly and disabled people will be the victims
  • Post-Brexit customs checks will mean more red tape for businesses
  • South Wales Police – Facial Recognition Technology Restart ‘Wrong Move’
  • Sunak must strip Scott Benton of the Conservative Whip

Social care funding halved: Elderly and disabled people will be the victims

Responding to reports that the social care reform budget has been halved, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Elderly and disabled people will be the victims of the Conservatives’ decision to slash funding for recruiting care workers at a time of chronic staff shortages.

By damaging social care again, Rishi Sunak is also damaging our NHS. Patients stuck in hospital will face more delays in discharge, leading to longer delays in A&E and for operations. Only the Conservatives could damage people’s care and the nation’s health at the same time.

Liberal Democrats want a new Carer’s Minimum Wage to attract workers back to the social care sector and ease pressure on family carers, GPs and hospitals. It’s shocking that the Government refuses to back our fair deal for carers.

Post-Brexit customs checks will mean more red tape for businesses

Responding to the government’s announcement on the introduction of post-Brexit customs checks, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

These new checks are only going to make trade between us and Europe harder. It’s staggering that the Conservatives looked at the chaos at Dover and said, ‘more of that please’.

The Government’s claims that these plans are going to ease trading chaos are downright dishonest. Let’s be clear: these proposals mean more checks and more red tape, not less – the last thing anyone wanted.

Businesses and the public have had enough of the Conservatives’ red tape and their botched deal with Europe. If you want to grow the economy, you have to fix our broken relationship with our closest neighbours.

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3 April 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Welsh rivers some of the most sewage filled in the UK
  • Water Plan: Taking the public for fools by re-announcing a policy from years ago

Welsh rivers some of the most sewage filled in the UK

An analysis of the sewage dumping statistics released by Welsh Water/Dŵr Cymru has revealed Wales’ rivers are some of the most sewage filled in the entire UK. The stats have sparked an angry response from the Welsh Liberal Democrats who have accused both Labour and the Conservatives of not doing enough to tackle the problem.

The latest figures show sewage was dumped in Welsh rivers 83,000 times …

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28 March 2023 – today’s press releases (Welsh Edition)

  • Welsh Liberal Democrats Launch Plan to Save NHS Dentistry in Wales
  • Interest Rate Rise Signals More Pain for Homeowners in Powys

Welsh Liberal Democrats Launch Plan to Save NHS Dentistry in Wales

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have launched their plans to save NHS dentistry in Wales, warning that unless the Welsh Labour Government takes action now NHS dentistry risks going extinct.

The Party have accused Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay of utterly failing to get to grips with the problem, allowing an appalling two-tier system of dentistry in Wales to flourish whereby if you can afford it you go private, but those who can’t are left waiting in agony for months and sometimes years.

Talking to her party Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds outlined that using her influence to fix NHS dentistry is one of her top priorities in the Senedd.

A previous FOI by the Welsh Liberal Democrats showed that over 800 children in Powys were waiting for an NHS dentist while in Cardiff the waiting list for children and adults is over 15,000 people. Other health boards do not operate centralised waiting lists which the Liberal Democrats state is a problem in itself.

Among the proposed actions laid out in the report, which was produced with industry professionals include:

  • Resolving outstanding contract issues as a priority
  • Integrating primary dental care more closely with other NHS primary care, especially to ensure that services are available in remote and rural areas
  • Increasing per-capita spending from the current £47 to match the levels of Scotland (£55) and Northern Ireland (£57)
  • Setting targets for Health Boards in terms of numbers of, and waiting times for, appointments, empowering them to use salaried staff to achieve those targets as well as entering into agreements with private sector providers
  • Setting up set up a national waiting list system to ensure that the process of getting an appointment is more efficient, and that fewer appointments are lost
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Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference – Calls for a New ‘Celtic Sea Powerhouse’

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for the creation of a “Celtic Sea Powerhouse” to serve as a new economic region for Wales harnessing green technology on the first day of their spring conference.

The policy comes on the back of the announcement of freeport status in Milford Haven and Port Talbot.

The policy calls for the cutting of red tape in Wales to establish floating offshore wind farms which can currently take up to 10 years for floating offshore wind to be given planning permission.

The Crown Estate Estimates the Celtic Sea has the economic potential to accommodate up to an additional …

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Welsh Government Budget – Welsh Liberal Democrats Lay Out Priorities Ahead of Budget

Ahead of the Welsh Government’s budget, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have outlined the areas in which they would like to see further progress by Labour and Plaid Cymru including an increase in funding for NHS dentistry, a greater commitment around capital investment for home insulation and the protection of Natural Resources Wales’ budget from cuts.

  • The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been campaigning to reduce inequalities in dentistry and raise spending per person to similar levels to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • On insulation the party have highlighted that under Labour’s current scheme it could take up to 135 years to insulate every household

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Sewage dumped on Wales’ Blue Flag beaches 579 times, lasting 6,757 hours

A new analysis of Environment Agency data by the Welsh Liberal Democrats have revealed that Welsh Water has dumped sewage onto our Blue Flag beaches 579 times, lasting an astonishing 6,757 hours

The worst incident was on Poppit Sands Beach near Cardigan with sewage dumped 79 times lasting 1,518 hours. South Beach in Aberystwyth had the highest number of incidents at 142.

Preseli Pembrokeshire ranks as the constituency with the highest number of sewage dumps in the whole of England and Wales with 6754 dumps in 2021 (79,501 hours). Carmarthen East and Dinefwr and Dwyfor Meirionnydd come a close second and third.

The …

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17 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Wales Ambulance Waiting Times – Emergency Lights Should be Flashing for Labour
  • Budget: Everyone being forced to pay the price for Conservative chaos
  • Cancer Treatment Waiting Times Intolerable
  • Conservative giveaway to big banks set to cost taxpayers £18 billion
  • 5 Hidden Horrors in the Autumn Statement

Wales Ambulance Waiting Times – Emergency Lights Should be Flashing for Labour

Responding to the news that Welsh ambulance response times have hit their slowest on record ever for red calls Jane Dodds MS said:

When someone is in a moment of crisis and chooses to call 999, they want to know that there will be someone at the other

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Jane Dodds: Cost-Of-Living, the NHS and Housing Should Be This Senedd’s Priorities

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS has today outlined her key priorities for the Senedd to address during its new term. These priorities are:

  • Addressing the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Tackling backlogs in the NHS and NHS dentistry.
  • Fixing problems in the Welsh housing sector.

Jane Dodds warned that the Welsh Labour-Plaid Cymru partnership in Cardiff Bay was failing to tackle these key issues and emphasised that strong action needed to be taken immediately.

Despite an announcement of an energy price freeze by UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, energy bills are still expected to be double that of last winter for most families and businesses in …

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The Dodds Doorstep challenge

We all know that without knocking on doors we just won’t get the election results in May.

Here in Wales every seat is up for election this May and that’s why I’ve made it my priority to lead from the front and set myself a challenge.

I’ve promised to canvass for at least 10 hours a week, every week, between now and polling day on 5th May. According to my quick calculations, I think I’ll be able to knock on around 2,500 doors before the election.

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Tories backtracking over new Powys Hospitals shows lack of honesty with voters

The admission by the Conservatives that their manifesto pledge to build two new hospitals in Powys won’t be fulfilled has been described as a disappointing breach of trust by the Liberal Democrats.

The Conservative manifesto pledges on both the inside cover and on page two that they will build “five new hospitals.” However Welsh Conservatives have now admitted that only two new hospitals will be built, neither of which will be in Powys and instead that existing hospitals in Newtown and Llandrindod will be upgraded.

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Welsh Liberal Democrat Manifesto puts recovery first

This afternoon, Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds launched the party’s Welsh Manifesto ahead of the Senedd elections on 6 May. Writing in the foreword to Put Recovery First, Jane said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on all of us, and we have much to do. We understand how you feel: frustration, exhaustion, loss, disappointment, anxiety, relief, hope.

Like you, we want to focus on the things that are most important to you and your family after a tough year. To do that, we first have to get Wales back on its feet…

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will put recovery first.”

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All female Party Political Broadcast is a first for Wales


The Welsh Liberal Democrats made television history last night with this party political broadcast (above) comprising solely of women.

The broadcast shown on ITV Wales at 18:25 (to be repeated on Friday on BBC1 at 22:35) features Party Leader Jane Dodds, education minister Kirsty Williams and three female candidates who are all running for Parliament for the first time.

Speaking about the broadcast, Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds said:

Too often politics is seen as an all-male club. I’m proud to be a leading my party in this election, and I’m equally proud to be joined in this broadcast by Kirsty Williams who’s done an incredible job as Education Minister.

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How we lie to ourselves about debt

When I started my first job, I met with our finance officer. She was looking quite stressed, so I asked what was going on. She explained she was working out how much of our ‘bad debt’ to write off as an organisation. I was confused, naively.

Turns out, this is probably what most people know, but every year companies and organisations write off debt. They decide that even if someone owes them £50, they are likely never to get that money back –  in short, it costs them more to chase the debt, than they’d ever make getting it back.

But then, some enterprising people worked out that there was a market there. Now, companies can get some of that back. So rather than writing it off completely, and getting nothing back, they can sell that debt to a debt market, for around £5 (on average, 10% of the debt value).

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Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic education report welcomed by Welsh Minister

The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has accepted all the recommendations of a report on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the new school Curriculum.

The Minister has also confirmed £500,000 will be provided to support the implementation of the report’s recommendations, as part of the delivery of the new Curriculum for Wales.

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LGBT+ people across Wales need answers from Plaid over trans rights, say Welsh Lib Dems

A press release from Welsh Lib Dems.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats challenged Plaid Cymru on the eve of their conference to provide clarity on their position on LGBT+ rights and equality.

Last week a young trans woman of colour was removed from a hustings meeting after protesting about her inability to question a panel member and sitting Plaid Cymru Senedd Member Helen Mary Jones, over her previous comments on trans rights. The young woman has since blogged about her experience.

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William Powell selected as Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire

The Brecon & Radnorshire Liberal Democrats have selected William Powell as their candidate to contest the Brecon & Radnorshire constituency at the Senedd Election due to be held on 6th May 2021

Cllr Powell, who grew up and lives in the constituency, has served as the Welsh Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Talgarth since 2004 and was Assembly Member for the Mid and West Wales region from 2011-2016. During this period, he was the Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on the Environment, Sustainable Development and Rural Affairs and chaired the Assembly Petitions Committee.

Before entering politics, he was a secondary modern languages teacher …

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Welsh Liberal Democrats come together virtually

Over 120 Welsh Lib Dem members joined our first ever virtual conference this weekend.

We welcomed Ed Davey virtually to Wales for his first Welsh conference where he spoke to us about the challenges facing the party and his burning desire that we as a nation must come out of this pandemic stronger than ever before.

This linked us nicely to our first policy motion: “Wales after COVID” which paid tribute to lives lost and calls for the dial on inequality in Wales to be reset with measures such as social care funding, universal free childcare, debt bonfires, green jobs and investment in housing.

We were then joined by Party President Mark Pack who spoke of how we need to campaign in the years to come, the changes the party is making both federally and in Wales and the exciting future we have in Wales with 16 and 17 year olds now able vote in Senedd elections from 2021 and in local government elections from 2022.

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Welsh Liberal Democrats response to Plaid Cymru’s Independence Commission report

Responding to Plaid Cymru’s Independence Commission report which has been published on 25 September, Welsh Liberal Democrats described the report as a mix of fanatical politics and pie in the sky economics.

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds said:

Politics isn’t working for Wales or the UK as well as it could right now, I understand why independence looks attractive, but it isn’t the answer.

There are far too many uncertainties, too many unknowns and too many risks with independence. We don’t know nor are Plaid proposing solutions to questions such as: What currency we would use? Would we still have

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A tribute to Cllr Alun Jenkins

How many Liberal Democrat councillors can match the achievement of Councillor Alun Jenkins of Wrexham this week of fifty years continuous service as a councillor in the same ward?

Alun had spent 5 years at University in Bangor and was active in the North Wales’ Liberal Federation. He came to Wrexham in 1967 to teach physics in my old grammar school, Grove Park. Soon after his arrival, he attended a meeting of the Liberal Party in Wrexham, to support Wilf McBriar, a local trade unionist who we remember with great affection for his utter sincerity and commitment.

Alun was given a …

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Stay Alert, That’s Devolved, Save Lives

Liberal Democrats know that a clear and consistent message is the most effective, that’s why we deliver so many leaflets when campaigning. These same principles of clarity and consistency apply now in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. We are inundated with news and updates about what financial support is available, the state of our hospitals and care homes, the social distancing measures, and what is and is not open. All of the governments across the UK are holding regular press briefings, in addition to social media, to communicate these changes to people. However, it is the media from whom …

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Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Wales

With the establishment of the Welsh Parliament, we are sending a clear message to people across our nation that our politics is changing. Now is the time for us to learn the lessons of the past and changing the way we do things.

For too long we failed to convey a clear message of what the purpose of the Assembly was and what it had the power to do. Instead, we let it be portrayed as ineffective, a barrier to change that was little more than a glorified talking shop.

We need to cut …

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After the virus: an economic future for Wales

Our economy in Wales was already facing difficulties. The Welsh economy’s long-term problems are well-documented; low productivity, a long-term lack of investment, a declining working-age population, significant public health issues. Add to that the likely effects of Brexit – especially a no-deal Brexit, which, on the basis of the OBR’s own figures, would be likely to deliver a severe productivity shock to the UK economy – and the effects of February’s floods, and even before the effects of lockdown are considered, it is clear that Wales was facing serious economic challenges. A recent report by the Centre for Towns and …

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Dwi’n hoff iawn o gerddoriaeth Gymraeg!*

So Happy (late) Welsh Language Music Day!

Ddydd Miwsyg Cymru Hapus! Happy Welsh Music Day to everyone! With it actually being celebrated last Friday, I was a sad to see minimal party coverage. Whilst it might seem somewhat trivial, niche and irrelevant to the ‘powers that be’ inside our Westminster HQ, or ‘too unimportant’ to those leading our party in Wales itself; it is, in fact, the opposite.

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In case you missed it… How the Welsh did for Margaret Thatcher

Embed from Getty Images

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