A former Liberal Democrat Senedd Member has said that it is an “embarrassment” that the party has named a Scottish MP as Wales spokesperson in today’s reshuffle.
The new Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said that North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain will be his spokesperson on Wales.
“Since when was Fife anywhere near Wales? This is an embarrassment,” Peter Black responded on Twitter. He is Liberal Democrat Councillor and Former Lord Mayor of Swansea.
The Liberal Democrats currently have no MPs in Wales, having lost Brecon and Radnorshire to the Conservatives at the 2019 General Election.
Wendy Chamberlain, one of 11 Liberal Democrat MPs, was also named Chief Whip and Scotland spokesperson.
She previously held the Wales brief when Ed Davey was the interim leader. Jane Dodds is the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and their only Senedd Member, Kirsty Williams, is Education Minister in the Welsh Government.
Prior to the 2019 election, the Welsh spokesperson role was filled by Baroness Christine Humphreys of Llanrwst.
“Wendy Chamberlain, who has been a powerful force since becoming an MP, will be our new Chief Whip,” new party leader Ed Davey said.
“Wendy will also take on the Scotland and Wales brief and fight for social justice as our Work and Penions spokesperson.”
Wendy Chamberlain, however, did not mention her role in Wales in Twitter comments following the reshuffle.
“I’m delighted to be taking on the role of Chief Whip for the Liberal Democrats here at Westminster,” she said.
“I‘m also delighted that alongside my membership of the Scottish Affairs Committee I’m retaining the Scotland portfolio. My focus is on ensuring that both Governments actually work together to deliver outcomes that benefit people every day.”
Ed Davey was elected the new leader of the Liberal Democrats last week.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds said he would “help communicate our positive liberal message at a time when it’s needed more than ever”.
“Ed is a friend of Wales understands our nation, our traditions and crucially devolution and the importance of the Senedd elections next year,” she said.
“With more and more people joining our party we have a renewed sense of optimism for the future, something in stark contrast to Boris’ bungled handling of the Covid-19 pandemic”
“Ed has championed the cause of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon which could generate renewable power for 150,000 homes as well as in recent weeks lead the campaign against the carers Covid bonus being taxed.
“We were incredibly lucky as a party to have had two excellent leadership candidates, and I know that Layla Moran will continue to play a key role within the party over the coming years, especially with regards to education and equality issues – two areas which are a real passion for her.
Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams said Ed Davey was a “liberal and compassionate to his core”.
“He is a remarkable campaigner and a someone of the utmost integrity and conviction, who has run an energising and professional campaign. I look forward to working with him,” she said.