Jane Dodds is the new leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats

Congratulations to Jane Dodds on her election today as Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. She won 53.15 of the vote over Ceredigion’s Liz Evans.

Jane tweeted:

Jane told the County Times:

It is an honour to have been elected as the next leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats – to focus my energy on bringing like minded people together to rebuild our party and to re-establish the Welsh Liberal Democrats as the radical, progressive force of Welsh politics.

“I’d like to thank Liz Evans for running an excellent campaign and giving members a vital opportunity to discuss our next steps as a party.

I”’d also like to pay tribute to Mark Williams and Kirsty Williams for their unwavering commitment to our party.

“Wales needs the Welsh Liberal Democrats now more than ever.

Wales needs the progressive, pragmatic, and reforming voice of Welsh Liberal Democrats in the Assembly and in Westminster to give us an exit from Brexit, a fresh look on creating more and better paid jobs, protecting our environment, and delivering on Kirsty Williams’ education reforms.

“We have been down, but we aren’t out, and I’m confident of what lies ahead for my party.”

Good wishes have been coming in:

What do we know about Jane? Here’s her biography from the Lib Dem website:

Jane Dodds is a Welsh speaker, having been born and raised in Wrexham, North Wales and studied at Cardiff University. She then trained to be a social worker in child protection and has continued to work in that area for the last 20 years.

She has worked in local authorities and has also headed up the Children’s Section at the Refugee Council, supporting children from war torn countries who arrive in the United Kingdom on their own without family.

Jane has been a local councillor, with a Cabinet portfolio on affordable housing, and is a trustee of a Family Centre in Welshpool. She lives in Welshpool with her husband Patrick and is committed to fighting for Montgomeryshire.

During the campaign she wrote a piece for this site in which she outlined what she wanted to achieve as leader:

I want to lead a party of social justice to address the five evils that Beveridge identified more than 75 years ago. I want to lead a party that is radical and reforming. I want to lead a party that is diverse and offers distinct policies. We’re resilient, we’re determined, and we’ve got renewed energy. I want to work with members to capture that renewed enthusiasm and to deliver change in our party and in our country.

She’s somebody who’s great to work with. I’ve noticed in meetings that she’s really good at finding a way through problems and coming up with something sensible in a constructive and consensual way. All the very best to her as she takes the helm in challenging times, but, as she told the BBC, the only way is up.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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