Jane Dodds aims to become Lib Dem leader in Wales

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

MONTGOMERYSHIRE LIBERAL Democrat politician Jane Dodds, who twice failed to get elected to Parliament, is seeking to become the leader of the party in Wales.

The only elected Lib Dem MP or AM in Wales, Kirsty Williams, now the Welsh Government’s Secretary of Education, would seem the obvious choice to resume the helm in Wales.

But leading the party and a big government department would be “incompatble” accoridng to the new UK leader, Sir Vince Cable MP.

This means that the party have had to change the rules to allow members who were “approved” to stand for election for Westminster or Cardiff Bay to put their names forward.

Nominations closed last Saturday, September 23, with Jane Dodds and Liz Evans from Ceredigion – who unsuccessfully stood in the 2016 Assembly elections emerging as candidates.

Welshpool resident Jane Dodds said on Facebook: “Delighted to announce that I am standing to be Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

“Never has Wales needed the Liberal Democrats as much as we do today. It’s time for a fresh start, to create a fairer society, to stand up for the environment and to tackle Brexit.

“Over the coming weeks I will be travelling the length and breadth of Wales to meet members. It’s time for fresh start for the Liberal Democrats in Wales.”

Speaking to The County Times, Jane Dodds, said: “It’s not all about Brexit my manifesto is about much more than that.

“As a party we have a different attitude to Brexit and we want people to have a say on the final deal after all the negotiations have finished.

“There is a lot to do within the party as well as with the public.”

In her leadership manifesto Jane hopes to build Welsh Liberal Democrat membership to 4,000 in Wales inside five years.

Double the number of Lib/Dem councillors by 2021, to win back Assembly seats and have an MP in Westminster.

She also said: “I want to rebuild our reputation for being at the cutting edge of new radical policy ideas for Wales.”

And Jane has received support locally.

Montgomeryshire Liberal Democrat chairman Richard Church said on Facebook: “Pleased to be supporting Jane Dodds to be Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

“She’s got the energy, the commitment and the vision to give the Welsh Lib Dems to fresh start we need.

Members have a month to cast their vote with a new leader expected to be announced at the end of October.

Jane Dodds has twice stood in general elections and failed to beat Montgomeryshire’s Tory MP, Glyn Davies.

In June the Conservatives held Montgomeryshire with Glyn Davies receiving an increased majority, with 18,075 votes, up 6.8 per cent on the 2015 election, for a 9,285 majority.

The Lib Dem vote dropped by 4.1 per cent.

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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