1. ITV Report

'I'm taking my party to the heart of decision making in Wales' - Kirsty Williams on becoming Education Secretary

Kirsty Williams received her party's backing at a meeting in Newtown today. Credit: ITV News

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have given former leader Kirsty Williams their backing to become Education Secretary.

Ms Williams is the sole Lib Dem AM in the Assembly following the elections earlier this month and was offered the role of Education Secretary in First Minister Carwyn Jones's Labour cabinet on Thursday. Her acceptance of the role depended on getting the backing of her party.

I'm delighted that the Welsh Liberal Democrats have backed the progressive agreement that I have reached with the First Minister. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to bring Welsh Liberal Democrat policies to the cabinet table and to be able to create a new way of doing politics in Wales and to be able to transform the education opportunities for Wales' children.

– Kirsty Williams AM, Education Secretary

Watch Jessica Main's report:

Ms Williams told ITV News her top priorities as Education Secretary are:

  • cutting class sizes
  • ensure Wales' teaching profession is held in high regard
  • addressing the attainment gap between poorer and better off children.

The Brecon and Radnorshire AM said she would make sure that Welsh Liberal Democrat values and commitments are at the heart of government discussion and she was taking her party to the heart of decision making in Wales.

Education is in our DNA as Welsh Liberal Democrats. We will now see that approach, and our ideas, pursued at the heart of Government.

As Kirsty made clear today, this approach is not without risks. But my clear view, and that of the party today, is that the greater risk is to allow this opportunity for real change to pass us, and education in Wales, by.

This chance to embrace and lead a new politics, a new approach to government, and help our students, teachers, parents and pupils achieve their potential is an opportunity that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will meet with passion, conviction and ambition.

– Mark Williams MP, Leader, Welsh Liberal Democrats

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