A former MS who almost died from covid has defeated the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats in a key seat.
Welsh Lib Dem Leader Jane Dodds has been overlooked as the Senedd candidate for Kirsty Williams’ seat of Brecon and Radnorshire, despite winning it for the party in a Westminster by-election last year.
William Powell, a former member of the Welsh Assembly for Mid and West Wales between 2011 and 2016, has been chosen to stand in the seat which will be vacated by the Education Minister in May.
The Powys County Councillor spent several weeks unconscious and on a ventilator because of Covid-19
Jane Dodds was elected as the MP for Brecon and Radnorshire at the seat’s 2019 by-election, but was only an MP for three months before she was defeated in the general election later the same year.
— Welsh Liberal Democrats (@WelshLibDems) December 14, 2020
“Llongyfarchiadau William Powell on being selected to fight Brecon & Radnorshire next May,” Jane Dodds said.
“William is a veteran local councillor and will be a strong voice for our communities in the Senedd. Along with Kirsty Williams, I will be doing all I can to help him win.”
The seat is now represented at Westminster by the Conservative Fay Jones.
Cllr Powell said: “Being selected to follow in the footsteps of Kirsty Williams, who has been an exceptional advocate for Brecon & Radnorshire for twenty-two years, is one of the greatest honours of my life.
“Being elected to represent the people of Brecon & Radnorshire, the constituency where I grew up, where I know every town and village, would be an even greater privilege.
“I have been immersed in our communities my whole life. I understand the issues we face – a farming economy and way of life threatened by reckless UK Government policies, a lack of good jobs and affordable housing for our young people, rural communities not being able to access the basic services that they need, from public transport to good healthcare and more.
“My own near-death experience with COVID-19, has been a deeply personal reminder of the terrible cost of this pandemic on the lives of so many, but also the courage and care of doctors, nurses and NHS staff, all our key workers and volunteers, small business owners and military personnel, friends and neighbours.
“As we begin the long, hard recovery from this crisis, I will be a voice for everyone in Brecon & Radnorshire, fighting for a brighter future for this constituency.”
The Welsh Liberal Democrats said that the decision was made by the Liberal Democrat membership in Brecon and Radnorshire.
“William Powell has won this selection and will be the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for next year’s Senedd election in Brecon and Radnorshire. We are a democratic party, and this was a decision made by local members.
“William, Kirsty and Jane will now work together to ensure a Liberal Voice is maintained for Brecon and Radnorshire in the Senedd.”