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Lib Dems to launch Welsh election campaign with farming focus

29 May 2024 3 minute read
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey with his party’s General Election campaign battlebus. Photo Jacob King/PA Wire

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey will launch the party’s General Election campaign in Wales on Wednesday, with a focus on farming.

He will join Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds to set out a rescue plan for farmers, promising £1 billion in extra funding for the agriculture budget, and pledging to re-negotiate overseas trade deals and address worker shortages blighting the sector.

The Lib Dems won no seats in Wales at the last Westminster election in 2019.

The last MP for the party in the country was Ms Dodds, who was elected at a by-election in 2019 but lost the seat three months later when the general election was held. She now sits in the Senedd.

The Liberal Democrats are hoping to oust Conservative MPs in Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe, a new constituency for the 2024 election.

Change

Ms Dodds, Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales, said: “Up and down the country the message is clear: people want change, and on July 4 the Welsh public will have the opportunity to deliver that change by voting for the Welsh Liberal Democrats, especially in seats like Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe where we came a close second to the Conservatives last time.

“The Conservatives have consistently let down Wales, whether that’s with false promises of levelling up, selling Welsh lamb farmers down the river with broken trade deals, or allowing water companies to dump sewage in our world-class rivers. They have proven they won’t stand up for Wales or its interests.

“By contrast, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have a long and proud history of putting local communities first and we will be campaigning hard to protect our countryside, give greater support to our rural communities and farmers, and end the dentist drought across huge parts of the country.”

Ms Dodds has previously called on the Welsh Government, which controls rural affairs in Wales, to deliver a fair payment scheme following the controversial Sustainable Farming Scheme being delayed until 2026.

‘Legacy of failure’

Sir Ed said: “This Conservative Government has left a legacy of failure from the NHS to British farming.

“In Wales, families and pensioners are bearing the brunt of a cost-of-living crisis and Conservative economic chaos in Westminster.

“British farmers are the best in the business, but Conservative neglect has left too many farmers on their knees. Rishi Sunak takes farmers for granted.

“This election gives Wales the opportunity of a lifetime to show the Conservatives the door, by voting for Liberal Democrats who will champion the best of Welsh farming.

“Jane Dodds is standing up for farmers in Wales, just as the Liberal Democrats stand up for farmers across the UK.”

The proposed extra £1 billion would go to the agricultural and horticultural budgets, and is intended to help the sector make productivity, training and technology improvements.

Sir Ed’s party also wishes to scrap visa salary thresholds to help workforce shortages, and to reopen the trade deal with Australia to ensure British standards are not undercut.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

Good luck in grubbing up the Tory weeds in Powis…

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
19 days ago

As far as I’m concerned the Lib Dems are an irrelevance. Their UK leader was Post Office Minister during the sub post master scandal, did nothing and should be deeply ashamed, not telling the world how wonderful he and his party are
Having said that, their Welsh leader has lifted lifted hypocrisy to a new level. In a TV interview after the election announcement, she sad that the issues were the NHS, Education and the economy – conveniently ignoring the fact that all are Senedd responsibilities.
But why bother with the truth?

Paul
Paul
19 days ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

You’re a well known supporter of a political party and moment. Is it any surprise you consider others an irrelevance?
A healthy democracy needs several parties. I hope the Lib Dems can win in Brecon.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
19 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Paul You are seriously mis-informed. I am NOT a member or supporter of any political party although I am a member of Yes Cymru. I entirely agree that a healthy democracy requires many parties, but what is missing here is honesty. The Lib Dem UK leader refused to recognise or act over the post office scandal, conveniently forgetting that he was the minister responsible for the post office. And the Welsh leader has equally conveniently mudded the waters by misleading the electorate with who is responsible for health, education and the economy. But as I said – why bother with… Read more »

Rob
Rob
19 days ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

I would much rather have the Lib Dems as the UK’s third biggest party in terms of votes than Reform UK. A lib dem resurgence could actually put a brake on the Overton Window shifting rightward.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
19 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Gosh. Is this the same Lib Dem party that couldn’t get into bed with the Tories fast enough?
The same Lob Dem former leader who couldn’t rush fast enough to a well paid fat cat job in America?
They are all part of the stench.

Rob
Rob
19 days ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Granted Clegg has got a lot to answer but he is gone and not coming back. As for the post office scandal, weren’t Tory ministers just as guilty as Ed Davey? Yet the right wing media are seemingly more interested in scrutinising him than the Tories. There is no way the Lib Dems are going to jump into bed with the Tories again (at least not for the foreseeable future), for 2 reasons. Firstly they would get punished again come the following election, and secondly the Tory party today are a very different kettle of fish to the ones under… Read more »

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