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Kirsty Williams backs Tim Farron to rebuild Lib Dems

Tim Farron's been backed by kirsty Williams as the man to get the Lib Dems back on track in time for the Assembly elections next year Credit: PA

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams has backed the party's president, Tim Farron, to be its next leader at Westminster. He's one of just eight MPs who survived the Lib Dems' disastrous election night last week.

Kirsty Williams issued a joint statement this morning with the party's Scottish leader, Willie Rennie, who's also backing Tim Farron.

Thursday’s results were devastating for the Liberal Democrats.

Our pain is eased by the knowledge that our liberal gains in government will endure.

Despite our loss our party remains optimistic, hopeful and confident about what we can achieve on behalf of Britain.

However, we now have to earn the right to be listened to again.

To move forward we need a fresh start. With that in mind we call on Tim Farron to stand to be our next Federal Leader. We believe he is the right person to rebuild our party, inspire and lead us into next year’s election campaigns. We will wholeheartedly support him if he decides to put himself forward.

– Kirsty Williams AM and Willie Rennie MSP

Voters should be able to sack their AMs says Welsh Lib Dem leader

The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats says voters should be given the right to be able to sack their Assembly Members without waiting for an election. Kirsty Williams made the call in a speech in Cardiff.

She denies that the move will undermine the principle of representative democracy, saying instead that it will make politicians more accountable to the people who elect them.

You can see the full interview with Kirsty Williams in Sharp End at 1140pm on ITV Cymru Wales.

Give public right to sack AMs says Welsh Lib Dem leader

The public should be able to hold Assembly Members to account by making them face by-elections in their constituencies, the Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams will say in a speech later.

Under her plan, voters in a constituency would sign a recall petition if they were angered by their AM's actions. If enough voters -20%- signed the petition, a by-election would be held and the AM would have to seek re-election if he or she wanted to stay in office.

There is a debate raging about the right to recall in Westminster. In Wales, it hasn’t been on the agenda at all. Today I will put it on the agenda and state clearly that I believe the people of Wales should have the right to recall their Assembly Members.

There is something fundamentally wrong with the fact that once elected, a politician can do as he or she pleases and their constituents can do nothing about it for five years.

Currently, an Assembly Member would only lose their seat outside of an election if they were imprisoned for more than 12 months. That’s a pretty high bar and I believe it must change.

– Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams AM

Under Kirsty Willlams' plan, regional list AMs could also be removed from office but the signatures of a fifth of the voters in every constituency in their region would be required. There would be no by-election, the regional AM would simply be replaced by the next person on the party list.

UK health minister's wrong -Welsh Lib Dem leader

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams, who's often one of the fiercest critics of Welsh Labour's running of the health service, has condemned the UK Health Secretary's claims about the NHS in Wales.

Jeremy Hunt claimed that Welsh patients seeking treatment in England are causing "huge pressure" on hospitals there. He also said that the Welsh NHS is not prepared to pay for their treatment, a claim described as "nonsense" by the Welsh Government.

Kirsty Williams is AM for Brecon and Radnor, where many people have hospital treatment across the border. She has now written to Jeremy Hunt, stating that he is wrong on three counts.

Firstly, a good number of my constituents receive excellent care at The County Hospital in Hereford, and have done for many years because The County is their nearest District General Hospital. Whilst I know that there are problems in the Health service in Wales, I am alarmed that the current rhetoric might give my constituents the incorrect impression that they are not welcome or able to access treatment in Hereford, thereby putting them at risk of harm. Secondly, in terms of payment, you will well be aware that all treatment received by Powys patients in Hereford is then paid for by Powys Teaching Local Health Board. There should be no inference whatsoever that any of my constituents are receiving or expecting to receive treatment that is not then paid for. Finally, I take issue with you claiming that my constituents being treated in Hereford causes ‘great pressure’ on the system in England. Actually, having Welsh patients treated at The County Hospital helps maintain the services there by contributing significantly to the critical mass of patients needed to sustain a hospital of The County’s size.

– Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams AM
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