Tag Archives: jane dodds

30 September 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Truss urged to hold mortgage lender summit in Number 10 as millions left in “anxious limbo”
  • OBR forecasts: Economy left “flying blind” for two months
  • Calls reiterated for Welsh Government to Close Qatar Offices After Death of British National

Truss urged to hold mortgage lender summit in Number 10 as millions left in “anxious limbo”

The Liberal Democrats are urging the Prime Minister Liz Truss to host an emergency summit with mortgage lenders in Number 10 this weekend, instead of heading off to Conservative Party conference.

The call comes as hundreds of mortgage products have been withdrawn from sale since the Government presented its mini budget last week.

Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

The Conservatives have plunged our country into an economic crisis and what’s worse is that the damage is purely self inflicted.

Rather than head off on a jolly to party conference this weekend, Liz Truss should hold an emergency meeting with mortgage lenders in Number 10 to fix the chaos caused by her budget.

Millions of people are being left in an anxious limbo. Some are struggling to get the mortgages they need to get on the housing ladder while others are being left worried sick about losing their homes, all because of this Government’s catastrophic failure.

It would be unforgivable for Conservative ministers to sit around talking amongst themselves instead of taking action to sort out this mess.

The buck stops with the Prime Minister, she must not leave innocent mortgage borrowers to pick up the bill.

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Liberal Democrats Select David Chadwick as Candidate for Top Welsh target seat of Brecon & Radnorshire

  • David Chadwick selected as the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate in the party’s top Welsh target seat of Brecon & Radnorshire.
  • The Selection follows major gains made by the Welsh Liberal Democrats in the Conservative/Liberal Democrat battleground of Powys during this year’s local elections, where the Conservatives were left with just a single councillor in Brecon & Radnorshire

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have selected their first General Election candidate to stand in their top Welsh target seat.

David Chadwick was selected by local party members as the Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire. David currently works as a cyber security consultant and has family ties to Builth Wells. David became interested in politics when his grandfather took him to see the steelworks in Port Talbot to see what it was like to work in a blast furnace stating it gave him an early insight into how politics, industry and communities are intrinsically linked.

In recent months, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have made major gains in Powys, becoming the largest group on Powys County Council and in Brecon and Radnorshire they topped the polls with 15 councillors compared to the Conservatives who were left with just a single councillor.

The seat of Brecon and Radnorshire has long been considered a Conservative-Liberal Democrat battleground with the area’s MPs and Senedd Members coming from one of the two parties since 1979. The Liberal Democrats would need a swing of just 8% to take back the seat.

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23 September 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Fiscal statement: Not a plan but “a recipe for disaster”
  • A Budget for the Mega Rich at the Expense of Ordinary Citizens
  • Debt dossier: Five times Truss and Kwarteng warned unsustainable borrowing could cripple the economy
  • Ed Davey: “Billionaires’ budget” shows Chancellor doesn’t have a clue

Fiscal statement: Not a plan but “a recipe for disaster”

Responding to the Chancellor’s fiscal statement today, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

This statement was an admission of failure from a Conservative government that is totally out of touch with the British people. It is not a plan, but a recipe for disaster that will leave families suffering from soaring prices while banks and oil and gas companies rake in huge profits.

Instead of a real plan to grow the economy, the Conservatives are reheating the same old failed policies and lifting the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

Handing billions of pounds of tax cuts to banks and multinational companies will do nothing to help people get a GP appointment when they need it, give our children a better education; and make our streets safer.

It’s clear that Kwasi Kwarteng and the Conservatives are taking the British people for granted and have no plan to deal with soaring energy bills, sky-high petrol prices and rising food costs.

A Budget for the Mega Rich at the Expense of Ordinary Citizens

Responding to the Conservatives’ mini budget, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS has labelled the plans announced as “a hideously out-of-touch’ budget designed to benefit the mega rich at the expense of ordinary citizens”.

Commenting Jane Dodds MS said:

What we have seen today is gross negligence. The Conservatives are intent on a budget that robs the poor to pay for the mega rich.

Someone on £200,000 a year will benefit by an extra £3,000 a year meanwhile those on the breadline will continue to struggle. It is almost criminal and completely detached from reality.

Cuts to cooperation tax, the removal of the bankers’ bonus cap and the abolishing of the top band of income tax for those earning over £150,000 will do absolutely nothing to help the average family this winter.

The Conservatives are reheating the same policies they’ve tried for the last 7 years that haven’t worked and have instead left the UK with stagnant growth, widening inequality and one of the lowest productivity rates in Europe.

This is the most financially irresponsible budget I have ever seen laid out and it will inevitably lead to either cuts in public services or more debt for our children and grandchildren through increased borrowing.

We need a general election immediately to remove this irresponsible and reckless Conservative Government out of power.

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Reactions to the “fiscal statement” (not a Budget, apparently)

First from Ed Davey:

Sarah Olney is our spokesperson for Treasury and Business & Industrial Strategy and she spoke in the debate:

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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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21 September 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Business energy bills announcement: a temporary sticking plaster
  • IFS debt analysis: Taxpayers footing the bill for Truss’s ideological obsessions
  • Conservatives handing banks a £6 billion tax cut, new research reveals
  • Calls for an Investigation into Failed Welsh Government Insulation Schemes
  • Demands Welsh Government ‘Names and Shame’ Property Developers Failing to Act on the Building Safety Scandal
  • Dental Crisis: Only 34% of Patients in Southwark Have Been Seen by an NHS Dentist in Past Two Years

Business energy bills announcement: a temporary sticking plaster

Responding to the government announcement on bills for businesses and the public sector, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, Sarah Olney MP said:

This temporary sticking plaster comes too late for the many small businesses that already closed their doors for the last time because they couldn’t afford soaring bills.

The Conservatives have sat on their hands for months while treasured pubs, cafes and high street shops went to the wall.

This delayed announcement will leave our small businesses, schools and hospitals under a cloud of damaging uncertainty. The government have no plan beyond these next six months, paralysing businesses who need to make decisions for the long term. Support for high streets and public services should be in place for at least the next year and include measures to improve energy efficiency and cut bills in the long term.

The announcement shows the Conservatives have no plan and no understanding of the pressures facing our businesses and public services.

IFS debt analysis: Taxpayers footing the bill for Truss’s ideological obsessions

Responding to IFS analysis which shows debt is being left on an unsustainable path by the government, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

Liz Truss is asking hard-pressed taxpayers to fund her ideological obsessions in the middle of the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation. This is no way to govern Britain.

The Conservatives are prioritising record oil company profits and bankers’ bonuses whilst families struggle to pay their own heating bills.

This Government has lost all sense of fiscal responsibility. Future generations will be paying off the Conservatives’ debt for years to come with no guarantee of economic growth.

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Jane Dodds: She was a stateswoman like no other

Jane Dodds paid tribute to the Queen in the Senedd.

The text is below:

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It’s Truss, but without as much support as she might have expected…

So, the former Liberal Democrat beats the former Chancellor to be the new Leader of the Conservative Party and, thus, Prime Minister. But it was rather closer than had been previously suggested, with only 57% of those Conservative Party members who voted backing her. And, given the polling data which suggests that members would rather have kept her predecessor than either of the choices put before them, she might have hoped for a better mandate.

Ed Davey had an immediate demand for Liz Truss;

Under Liz Truss, we’re set to see more of the same as under Boris Johnson. From the cost of living emergency to the NHS crisis, the Conservatives have shown they don’t care, have no plan and have failed our country.

The Government needs to scrap October’s energy price rise to avoid a social catastrophe for families and pensioners this winter.

Then we need a General Election, to get the Conservatives out of power and deliver the real change the country needs.

Jane Dodds and the Welsh Liberal Democrats were quick to respond too;

Under Liz Truss we are set to see more of the chaos that we saw under Boris Johnson. From failing to deal with the cost-of-living emergency, to letting small and medium businesses face the winter alone, to failing to deal with the climate crisis, the Conservatives have shown they don’t care, have no plan and have failed our country.

The Conservatives may have changed leader, but after twelve years in power at Westminster the Conservatives have shown they are out of ideas, out of energy and out of touch.

First the government needs to urgently scrap October’s energy price rise to avoid a social catastrophe for families and pensioners this winter. Then we need a general election, to get the Conservatives out of power and deliver the real change Wales needs.

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Welsh Lib Dems launch Regeneration Plan for Mid Wales at Royal Welsh Show

The Welsh Liberal Democrats today used the first day of the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd, Powys to outline their proposals for a Regeneration Plan for Mid Wales. The party argues that Mid Wales is all too often the forgotten region of Wales, and neglect by both the Conservatives in Westminster and Labour in the Senedd has contributed to a cycle of decline over the last few decades.

The proposals by the party focus on transforming the economy of the region to take advantage of the changing patterns of employment and economic models following COVID-19.

The plan has six main points:

  • Drastically improving connectivity, in both digital and physical infrastructure.
  • Expanding the Rural Fuel Duty cut to Mid Wales and doubling the discount.
  • Protecting access to physical banking, applying pressure on large banks to invest in bank hubs for rural communities.
  • Improving healthcare access in Mid Wales, advocating for more health services to be returned to local communities.
  • Introducing measures to help businesses in the region grow, including a town rejuvenation fund.
  • Tackling the housing crisis in Mid Wales.

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

Mid Wales deserves to be an economic force in its own right, connecting North and South Wales, as well as Wales to the Midland, rather than the forgotten territory it has been allowed to have become by the Tories and Labour.

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29 June 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Fraud industry booming on the Conservatives’ watch
  • Independence Isn’t the Answer to Westminster Overreach
  • Defence spending facing £1.7 billion cut by 2025

Fraud industry booming on the Conservatives’ watch

Responding to UK Finance’s Annual Fraud Report, showing total fraud losses up 8% to £1.3bn in 2021, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

On the Conservatives’ watch, the fraud industry is booming. Criminal gangs are lining their pockets at the expense of innocent, often vulnerable people.

People need far better protection from these vile fraudsters, but the Government is leaving them to fend for themselves. Boris Johnson and Priti Patel want to simply pretend

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Welsh Government seriously out of step with the rest of the UK on building safety scandal

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have accused the Welsh Government of being “seriously out of step” with the rest of the UK when it comes to addressing the building safety scandal. The accusation comes after the Scottish Government announced that some of the country’s largest housing developers have agreed to work with the Scottish Government towards the remediation of buildings affected by cladding and fire safety issues.

The announcement follows one by the UK Government last month that major developers will contribute towards remediation costs in England. This leaves Wales as the only GB nation where major developers have not …

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17 May 2022- today’s press releases

  • The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to the Conservatives in Tiverton and Honiton
  • NI Protocol Changes: Risks starting a trade war with our largest trading partner
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats call for 24/7 mental health service

The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to the Conservatives in Tiverton and Honiton

Responding to the announcement that the Tiverton & Honiton by-election will take place on Thursday 23rd June, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said:

People in rural communities like Devon have had enough of being neglected by this Conservative government.

The Conservatives’ failure to tackle the cost of living crisis has left millions struggling to pay their bills, while people wait hours for an ambulance and weeks for a GP or dentist appointment.

The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to the Conservatives in Tiverton and Honiton. On the 23rd June voters can send Boris Johnson’s government a message they cannot ignore – and elect a strong local champion who will stand up for them.

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Dodds: GPs could be forced to leave Wales

Yesterday in the Senedd, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds requested that the Welsh Government issues a statement on the possibility that 80 or 160 overseas trainee GPs in Wales may be forced to leave the country.

The request came as the Lib Dems revealed that across the border in England, 6.2 million people waited over eight days for a GP appointment in February, up 9 per cent on the previous month.

A report by the Welsh BMA GPs committee earlier this year highlighted that current Home Office rules implemented by Priti Patel and the Conservatives mean that individuals must have worked for five years under a Skilled Workers Visa in order to be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILTR).

This could result in 80 out of this year’s 160 GP trainees in Wales not being eligible to stay in the country under ILTR because of limited work opportunities at Welsh GP practices that serve as established Skilled Worker visa sponsors.

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Dodds: Aberpergwm Coal Mine Expansion Must be Stopped

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their opposition to the expansion of Aberpergwm Coal Mine in Neath Port Talbot Council. Addressing a protest in front of the Senedd Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds stated that if we are to stand any hope of tackling climate change before it’s too late, the coal must be left in the ground.

A protest yesterday in front of the Senedd in Cardiff saw multiple Welsh climate groups attend.

The expansion of Aberpergwm Coal Mine has been at the centre of a row between the UK and Welsh Governments, with the Welsh Government claiming it does not have the legal authority to block the mine’s expansion, while the UK Coal Authority has insisted that the Welsh Government could in fact stop the development.

The new license, which was approved by the Coal Authority in January will allow Aberpergwm Mine to extract another forty million tonnes of coal. The development could release up to 1.17 million tonnes of very strong greenhouse gases, including methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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16 March 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from Iran: At a dark time, this is joyful news
  • Jane Dodds: Aberpergwm Coal Mine Expansion Must be Stopped

Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from Iran: At a dark time, this is joyful news

Responding to the news that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman detained in Iran has now been released and is on her way back to the UK, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

At a dark time, this is joyful news for us all to celebrate. Members of the public, NGOs, Parliamentarians and, of course, Nazanin and Anoosheh’s families have campaigned tirelessly for their release – it now looks like they are finally coming home.

But it should not have taken years to reach this day – nearly six years in the case of Nazanin. We should never have been in the situation where UK nationals are being used as political bargaining chips. The UK Government has questions to answer for whether their actions, including those of the current Prime Minister, have prolonged this ordeal. I hope the Foreign Secretary will commit to an independent inquiry.

I’m sure many tears are set to be cried in the next twenty-four hours. But for once I hope they are tears of joy.

Jane Dodds: Aberpergwm Coal Mine Expansion Must be Stopped

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their opposition to the expansion of Aberpergwm Coal Mine in Neath Port Talbot Council. Addressing a protest in front of the Senedd Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds stated that if we are to stand any hope of tackling climate change before it’s too late, the coal must be left in the ground.

The protest in front of the Senedd in Cardiff saw multiple Welsh climate groups attend.

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Dodds: Wales should be Green Battery of Western Europe

The Welsh and UK Governments should work together to turn Wales into a renewable powerhouse that could help allies in Europe reduce their dependence on Russian oil and gas imports. Projects under construction or in the planning phase should be immediately fast-tracked. This will be a win-win not only helping to reduce UK and EU dependence on Russian hydrocarbons but boosting Welsh jobs and helping save the environment.

Wales currently exports over twice the amount of power it consumes and around 48% of electricity generation in Wales already comes from renewables. But with vast reserves of tidal power in the North and South of Wales, wind power in the West, the potential for Green Hydrogen facilities in former mining areas and hydropower potential throughout the country; Wales has some of the greatest potential for a green economy in all of Europe.

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Former Conservative Senedd member joins Lib Dems

Nick Ramsay, former Conservative Shadow Finance Minister in the Senedd, has joined the Welsh Liberal Democrats.  He will stand as a Liberal Democrat in the Monmouthshire Council elections this coming May.

Nick lives in Raglan. He served as a Monmouthshire County Councillor before his election to the Senedd in 2007.

He held many shadow ministerial roles in the Senedd. He chaired the Enterprise and Business Committee and, more recently, the Senedd’s influential Public Accounts Committee.

He is a keen fundraiser for local charities such as Love Zimbabwe, and was appointed as a Vice President of Chepstow Mencap.

After he joined the Liberal Democrats he said:

I have thought long and hard about the future of politics in Wales and the UK.  The Conservative Party is not the party I once joined.  They have lost the trust of the people, and are unable to manage our country.  They have failed the fundamental test of competence.  I can think of little of them with which I agree.

I have spent a long time examining the Liberal Democrats, and I find their underpinning values of fairness, community, and internationalism match my own. The Welsh Liberal Democrats are the best way to achieve a new village hall for Raglansupport for struggling local businesses and sustainable development for Monmouthshire, and I am pleased to be able to join them in their campaign to provide a better future for our county.

Liberal Democrat leader in Monmouthshire Cllr Jo Watkins welcomed Nick:

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Jane Dodds: Welsh Government must act on cladding scandal

A protest was held this Saturday in front of the Senedd steps in Cardiff Bay to demand action by the Welsh Government on the cladding scandal. The meeting was organised by the Welsh Liberal Democrats and is the first hosted by a political party in Wales.

Groups attending included: the Welsh Cladiators, Ripped Off by Redrow and Cymru Cladding Crisis.

Victims of Cardiff’s cladding scandal, unveiled during the wake of the Grenfell disaster are facing bills up to £60,000 each for safety work to fix their unsellable, fire defective homes.

Although the Welsh Government have agreed to fund the recladding of social housing, many private leaseholders are still facing both the costs of recladding and interim safety costs themselves.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to introduce a Welsh Building Safety Fund to deal with all fire safety defects as quickly as possible and ensure no tenant or leaseholder is left out of pocket.

Jane Dodds said:

“It is utterly appalling that over four years on from Grenfell we still have people being trapped in unsafe buildings and let down by those in power. People should absolutely not be forced to front the cost for the serious mistakes of property developers.

“The Welsh Government needs to urgently step in and provide funds to fix all fire safety defects as soon as possible. It should then be up to the Government to pursue property developers to claim the money back. We cannot have people living in limbo and unsafe buildings while they try and chase property developers for funds.

“The stories we have heard at this protest are really harrowing and the Government urgently needs to engage with those affected and step up to the situation.”

Lib Dem Councillor Rhys Taylor said:

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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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Welsh Lib Dems secure £20 million to support most vulnerable children

The mark of a civilised society is how it treats its most vulnerable people. Ours could do a lot better.

Jane Dodds, as leader of the Welsh LIb Dems and the party’s only Member of the Senedd, announced this week that she had secured an extra £20 million for care leavers, who are often just dropped and left to get on with it when they turn 16.

Jane outlined what this extra money would mean in practical terms:

The pandemic has been difficult for young people the length and breadth of Wales. That is why the Welsh Liberal Democrats used our influence in the Senedd to champion children and young people.

“As a result of Welsh Liberal Democrat influence in the Senedd, we will see the establishment of a £20 million fund to be used over the course of this Senedd term to reform services for looked after children and care leavers making sure that children and young people in care have the best start in life.

“We will also see an increase in funding for mental health services over the coming years, which was a key priority for my Party during the election.

“I am also glad to see £20 million extra will be put into the Pupil Development Grant, expanding the programme that was a key part of former Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Secretary Kirsty William’s previous agreement with Welsh Labour.”

“It can only be a good thing when politicians work together to find areas of common ground. That is when we can deliver tangible change to people’s lives.

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Jane Dodds: Welsh Farmers feel sold down the river by the Conservatives

Jane Dodds has said that the Welsh Council elections in May offer an opportunity for voters who feel let down by the Conservatives to send them a message by electing hard-working Liberal Democrats, just like they did in North Shropshire.

Writing in the County Times, she highlighted the failure of the Conservative Government to meet the needs of farmers and highlights growing support for the Liberal Democrats.

Time and time again on the doorstep we heard the sheer anger of voters, many of whom had voted Conservative for decades, that the Government simply doesn’t care about rural areas.

In contrast to the Government’s ‘levelling up’ mantra, many of these communities feel they are being levelled down.

This feeling was particularly strong among North Shropshire’s farming community and their concerns echo that I’ve heard across Powys.

Whether it’s on their failure to engage with the industry over concerns over the Australian and New Zealand trade deals, a failure to solve problems on the UK-EU veterinary agreement or a failure to help address labour shortages, the Conservatives are repeatedly failing to address the problems faced by our farmers.

Many feel as if they have been sold down the river for quick trade deals designed to benefit big bankers in the City with little regard for rural communities.

In contrast, the Liberal Democrats have a lot to offer the rural communities they have always understood and served:

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Dodds slams New Zealand trade deal

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservatives of dealing a hammer blow to Welsh sheep farmers after news broke that the UK and New Zealand have signed a trade deal. They are worried that lower standard and cheap meat from New Zealand could flood the UK markets and leave the British and Welsh farming industry unable to compete.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

I am extremely disappointed that the Conservative Government has decided to toss Welsh sheep farmers aside in this manner, completely ignoring their concerns and breaking previous commitments to the farming community made by the Party.

The NFU has also criticised the deal saying it had heard next to nothing from the government on how British agriculture is expected to compete with either Australia or New Zealand which both face less regulation than their British counterparts.

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WATCH: Jane Dodds’ speech to Scottish and Welsh Conference

Jane Dodds addressed Scottish and Welsh conference yesterday. She said that the Lib Dems were opposed to Labour’s failure to tackle poverty and the Conservatives’ Universal Credit costs.

She praised Kirsty Williams, highlighting international recognition of her work as Education Secretary.

She accused the Conservative Government of suffocating the Welsh economy which is lagging behind with lower productivity, lower incomes and greater poverty. She blames Boris Johnson directly for the lorry driver shortage and says that those who are poorest will suffer most from his Brexit.

And she has some gorgeous flowers in the background. Enjoy! The full text is below:

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Jane Dodds’ speech to Federal Conference

Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds gave her first speech to Federal Conferece since she was elected as a Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales in May.

Here is the text in full:

I want to take you back to May 1999, and the first-ever elections to the then Welsh Assembly.

Almost 600 years after the first Welsh Parliament was established in June 1404, the people of Wales once again had its own national democratic institution.

Wales was entering a new dawn – an opportunity to meaningfully hand power to people, to communities, away from the corridors of power.

It was an opportunity to cast off the dust and to set about creating our own destiny here in Wales.

Our job here in Wales is made all the more difficult by Conservatives in Westminster and their assault on devolution and our national parliament.

But that quiet earthquake in 1999 has passed many people in Wales by. 22 years on and that radical, reforming streak that ushered in a new era has, in too many ways, been replaced by a steady incrementalism, slow to move when the world is hurtling on.

Now, granted, even after 1999 Wales operated with two hands tied behind its back and we don’t yet have all the tools we need to shape a fairer, greener, more liberal Wales. And our job here in Wales is made all the more difficult by Conservatives in Westminster and their assault on devolution and our national parliament.

It is our job, as liberals, and my job as the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, to make the case for a new relationship between people and parliament and between the nations of the United Kingdom.

We need to rediscover our radical, progressive voice and offer new and inspiring ideas – and we have work to do.

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Senior Lib Dems mark 9/11 anniversary

Senior Lib Dems have been reflecting on 9/11 and its aftermath:

 

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Jane Dodds questions First Minister on preventing violence against women

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds used her first question as a Member of the Senedd to the First Minister to demand action on ending violence against women and girls.

This comes at a time when Operation Encompass, an initiative set up to notify schools if domestic abuse has taken place in pupils’ homes, report that there has been a huge rise in Public Protection Notices to do with domestic abuse to 2254 from September 2020 to March 2021 compared to 1043 during the same period in the previous year. The impact of Covid-19 appears to be severe.

What actions, Jane asked,  will the Welsh Government take to end violence against women and girls, particularly within black, Asian and minority ethnic communities?

After Mark Drakeford talked about an increase in funding that the Government had put in place, she followed up with:

Can I just follow that through with a focus on what’s been happening in this COVID time? We all know that there’s been a significant increase in the need for refuge places, in the need for services, and better, more focused responses to those women and children who are coming forward after these lockdown periods. I’m particularly interested to hear what issues and services will be targeted into rural areas, where we know that there are particular shortages of those effective responses and services.

You can watch the exchange here at about  32 minutes in.

Afterwards, Jane said:

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Jane Dodds campaigns for Sarah Green in Chesham and Amersham

Jane Dodds knows what it’s like to fight – and win – a parliamentary by-election. The entire party got behind her campaign to win Brecon and Radnorshire in 2019 so she’s returning the favour by heading to Chesham and Amersham to help Sarah Green. Sarah is a fantastic candidate who would make a brilliant addition to our Westminster Parliamentary Party

Activists are following Jane’s example and heading to the constituency in significant numbers. There are just 4 weeks till the by-election and the more help we get early on, the better our chances.

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Jane Dodds makes it into the Senedd

So I updated the Welsh results post at 10:30 last night and went, exhausted, to bed.

At that point, the Mid and West Wales result, our only hope of a seat in the Senedd, hung in the balance – and the mood music I was hearing was not positive. We were very worried that, for the first time in its history, there would be no Lib Dems in the Senedd.

Just after midnight, though, everyone else breathed a huge sigh of relief.

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Jane Dodds launches Basic Income YouTube series

Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds has launched a YouTube series in the runup to the Senedd elections to showcase the many ways in which a Basic Income could change the lives of people in Wales.

Published on the Welsh Lib Dems YouTube channel, “Basic Income Conversations with Jane Dodds” is a series of informal one-to-one conversations in which Jane asks men and women from all corners of the country about their day-to-day lives and how they think a Basic Income would make a difference to them and their communities.

In the first, she hears from Mary, a shop assistant and mother of one from Cowbridge, who reflects on the difficulties her and other working families face trying to make ends meet. “There are rural communities where they go without so much, they go without basics just to get by. And they’re all working families and that’s what I can’t get my head around. They’re all working so hard”.

Mary said the first time she heard about Basic Income was when the Welsh Lib Dems started talking about it and now she is all for it (and hopefully for the Lib Dems too, as a result!).

Jane Dodds has been a vocal supporter of Basic Income for many years and was delighted when the party adopted it as official policy at last year’s conference. “In this campaign I wanted to speak to regular, hard-working people across the country because I wanted to hear their stories and how they thought the financial security of a Basic Income could make a difference to them”, she told Lib Dems for Basic Income.

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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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  • David Evans
    Ed calls on the Conservatives to cancel their Conference, and we point out they aren't getting any good press. However, we chose to cancel our Conference rathe...
  • expats
    Those who are struggling should, 'Cut (their) consumption or get a new higher-paid job' says Conservative Party chair Jake Berry.... What is so sickening is...
  • Jenny Barnes
    I think the king should get on and call an election then. Clearly this mob shouldn’t be in charge of the proverbial whelk stall....
  • Nick Collins
    @ Kevin Hawkins Sounds like it: either that or, to paraphrase a song that was popular when I was a child, in the 1940s, he thinks moonlight becomes them....
  • Nick Collins
    The Independent is reporting that the "government" (can we still call it that?) has U turned on a U turn. Having said this morning that it would bring forward ...