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Kirsty Williams quits as Welsh Lib Dem leader

Published 06/05/2016

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Kirsty Williams said she is standing down
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Kirsty Williams said she is standing down

Kirsty Williams has quit as leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats after the party lost all but one of its seats in Cardiff Bay.

Although she held her own seat in Brecon and Radnorshire with an increased majority, the Lib Dems lost four seats on a bad night for the party.

In a letter announcing her decision, she said that "despite our best efforts, and a positive campaign, it has not been enough", adding "I must take responsibility".

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said he was "sorry" she had stood down and added he was "certain that Kirsty will play a key role in the future of our party".

In her resignation letter, Ms Williams said: "I can't tell you how much of a privilege it has been to serve this party as leader over the last eight years, but with that privilege comes responsibility.

"Despite our best efforts, and a positive campaign, it has not been enough. And for that, I must take responsibility.

"In these new circumstances, the party will want to reflect and consider the way forward and that will require new leadership. So today I'm announcing my resignation as leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats."

She said the party was still suffering from joining the coalition government at Westminster with the Conservatives in 2010.

"While I don't regret the decision we took as a party in 2010 to enter into coalition, on days like this, it is only human to question our sacrifice," she said.

Mr Farron said: "Kirsty Williams is more than a colleague, she's a dear friend and I'm sorry to see that she has stepped down from the leadership of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

"Wales is a fairer place because of her leadership and she can point to real legislative achievements like the Nurses Bill, which will make Wales a better place.

"I am certain that Kirsty will play a key role in the future of our party. Britain needs a politician of her talent and commitment."

Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg tweeted: "Kirsty has been a brilliant & formidable leader. Head & shoulders above other party leaders in Wales. Thanks for all you've done."

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