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Kirsty Pulls no Punches, Wowing Conference in Debut Speech as Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader

April 21, 2009 6:46 PM

Kirsty Williams, Leader of The Welsh Liberal Democrats talked firmly and frankly with her party and the people of Wales, in her first conference speech since becoming Leader.

Delegates in the hall and all those watching at home were left in no doubt: That Wales is facing huge challenges and that Liberal principles urgently need to be brought back into Government.

Outlining the need for bold, honest leadership, WIliams said:

"We're gambling in the last chance saloon. And our leaders are fumbling around, clutching at straws. Labour, Plaid and the Conservatives can promise you only their sincere hope for a return to a boom that has already bust."

Criticising the failing Labour-Plaid coalition on their economic mismanagement, Williams said:

"Suddenly, politicians proud of the powers we have in Wales - Are shifting our attention away from the once 'Historic' One Wales Government.

They're telling us that this recession is global - and only global. That is *all* too convenient. It's time we changed the management team Because Wales PLC is not performing."

And outlining the public desire for better leadership, Williams pulled no punches in laughing off Plaid Cymru Leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones' recent calls for imaginary money:

"Wales deserves a Government that stands up and fights with the resources it has, that tells us clearly what it can and cannot achieve.

Wales doesn't need cheap Plaid rallying cries for billions of pounds extra from Westminster - when the money just does not exist.

Wales deserves better leadership. Leadership that in power never forgets the people who put them there. "

The speech, which brought repeated applause from the delegates, marks the high point of conference noteable for its record turnout, younger crowd and clear confidence in the Party under Williams' energetic leadership.