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Richard Thomas appointed new Welsh Liberal Democrat Chief Executive

January 4, 2012 9:28 AM

The Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams, has announced the appointment of Richard Thomas as new Chief Executive of the Party.

Richard, who was Head of Communications for the Party, takes over from Joanne Foster, who left Wales for London to take up a new role as Deputy Chief of Staff to Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg MP.

Kirsty Williams said:

"It is with great pleasure that I can today announce the appointment of Richard Thomas as the Party's new Chief Executive. We are delighted to have secured somebody of Richard's calibre and experience.

"Richard brings to the role a lifetime of commitment to the Party, as a volunteer, campaigner and councillor. His strong professional background in communications and campaigning across all sectors will stand the Welsh party in good stead as we develop and face the challenges ahead."

Richard Thomas commented:

"I am thrilled and honoured to be taking up this role at a very exciting time for both the Welsh Liberal Democrats and for Welsh politics. I am looking forward to be playing my part in the future growth and development of the party."

About Richard:

Richard grew up in Swansea and joined the Liberal Democrats in 1990. He left Wales in 1997 (the day after the 1997 devolution referendum!) to take up a job with Simon Hughes MP and subsequently worked for Tom Brake MP and for a number of environmental campaigning organisations in communications and public affairs, including CTC, the national cyclists' organisation and the Association for the Conservation of Energy. He was subsequently a public affairs consultant with Lexington Communications specialising in property and planning, before returning to Wales to take up the position of Head of Communications to the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Richard stood for parliament twice in Lewisham, South London in 2001 and 2005 and was a successful councillor in Southwark, London for 12 years, playing a key role in winning control of the council in 2002 and twice securing the highest vote of any councillor in Southwark.

He was Executive Member for Environment and Transport for four years, During this time he oversaw a dramatic improvement in Southwark's street cleaning standards and recycling rates. Subsequently he was the Executive Member for Regeneration, overseeing among other schemes the key Elephant and Castle Regeneration Programme.

Outside of work Richard enjoys cycling, photography, music and sport. He lives in Crickhowell with his family.