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Kirsty Williams

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats

AM for Brecon and Radnorshire

Kirsty Williams portrait

Biography

Kirsty Williams is the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. She has been the Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnorshire since 1999. She was born in Taunton Somerset in March 1971 to Welsh parents, her father a librarian from Llanelli and her mother a housewife from Swansea.

After a brief spell in Somerset and Liverpool the family returned to the village of Bynea in Carmarthenshire when Kirsty was 3 years old. Kirsty was educated at the village primary school and St. Michaels School Llanelli. She studied for her degree, a B.A. Hons in American Studies at Manchester University and The University of Missouri.

Prior to her career in politics Kirsty worked at Carmarthenshire College and for a small business in Cardiff as a Marketing Executive. Kirsty married Richard Rees in September 2000. They have three daughters, Angharad born in September 2001, Carys born May 2004 and Rachel in April 2006. They live on the family farm just outside Brecon.

Experience

Kirsty joined the Liberal Party at the age of 15; since that time she has held a variety of posts within the party including Deputy President of the Welsh Liberal Democrats 1998-2000. She fought the Ogmore constituency in the 1997 General Election.

Following the Assembly Referendum in 1997 she was appointed to the National Assembly Advisory Group by the then Secretary of State for Wales, Ron Davies. She was selected to fight the Brecon & Radnorshire Constituency for the Welsh Liberal Democrats in 1998. She successfully won the seat in 1999 and became the party's health spokesperson and Chair of the Assembly's Health and Social Services Committee 1999-2003.

Kirsty is Health and Social care spokesperson for the party.

Kirsty successfully defended her Brecon & Radnorshire seat in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

Political Interests

Health, Social Services, Agriculture and Young People.

General Interests

Horse Riding, going to the gym and helping on the farm.

Contact Details

Contact Kirsty Williams.

Recent Updates

  • Mental health
    Article: Jan 13, 2015

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for a radical change in how Wales' NHS approaches mental health services.

    The Children, Young People and Education Committee recently published a critical report that painted a stark picture of the state of mental health services in Wales. The report found that young people in particular were facing a service that "cannot cope with demand."

  • Kirsty Williams portrait
    Article: Dec 23, 2014

    I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

    2014 will be remembered as the year of the Scottish referendum. Whilst Scotland's decision to remain in the United Kingdom was welcome, it must not be considered a vote to retain the status quo. We need a reformed union: a union of distinct nations with our own ambitions, our own needs and our own outlook. In 2014, the Liberal Democrats were the only party who clearly set out what further powers Wales should have. I challenge the other parties to make 2015 the year when they too made a strong commitment to bringing further, meaningful powers to Wales.

  • Kirsty Williams portrait
    Article: Dec 19, 2014

    Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams is seeking cross-party consensus to let the Welsh Assembly set the voting age in Wales, so it can be lowered to 16 in time for the 2016 Assembly elections.

    Kirsty Williams has drafted a letter to Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb asking for the power to lower the voting age be devolved to the Welsh Assembly, and has asked the other three Welsh party leaders to co-sign it.

  • Kirsty Williams AdLib Shoot
    Article: Dec 17, 2014

    On the day that the Wales Bill receives Royal Assent, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have hailed the Act as a "landmark step" in the Welsh devolution journey.

    The new Wales Act will give the Welsh Government greater financial powers, including the ability to vary some taxes and to borrow up to £1bn.

    Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

  • Article: Dec 10, 2014

    Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams won the AM of the Year award at the Welsh Political Awards last night.

    She was recognised for her hard work in securing a £223m budget deal from the Welsh Government, which includes extra support for the poorest school pupils in Wales, as well as tirelessly holding First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Welsh Labour Government to account.

  • Kirsty Brecon Hospital
    Article: Dec 2, 2014

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats' More Nurses campaign has reached the next stage today as Kirsty Williams' bill was published for the first time.

    Kirsty's bill, which aims to ensure safe nurse staffing levels in hospitals, will be introduced in the Assembly tomorrow. Previously, the Senedd debates have been based on the general principle of the bill; today the bill is formally published before it heads to the health committee for the first stage of scrutiny.

  • Kirsty Williams AdLib Shoot
    Article: Nov 27, 2014

    Today, the Smith Commission report has been published, setting out the agreed cross-party vision for devolution to Scotland.

    Responding to the, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams said:

    "I welcome today's Smith Commission report which I believe is another giant step towards the long held Liberal Democrat vision of a Federal United Kingdom and Home Rule.

  • Rainbow flag
    Article: Nov 18, 2014

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats are marking Transgender Awareness Week on Wednesday by leading a landmark Welsh Assembly debate on issues faced by Welsh trans people.

    It is thought to be the first time this topic has been discussed in-depth by the National Assembly for Wales. It is estimated there are over 31,300 trans people in Wales, yet there are significant problems relating to adequate healthcare and housing provision. Welsh Lib Dem Assembly Members will be raising these issues, in addition to the perception of trans people in Wales and what can be done to further raise awareness of gender equality issues in order to reduce stigma.

  • Severn Bridge tolls AMs
    Article: Nov 12, 2014

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on all parties in the National Assembly to support the Liberal Democrat policy of scrapping the Severn Bridge tolls when the bridges come back into public ownership, as they lead a debate on the issue today.

    The Severn Crossings are currently managed by a private concessionaire. The concession will end when a revenue target collected from tolls is reached. Current forecasts are that the concession will end in 2018. Once the tolls are transferred into public ownership and debts are repaid, the Liberal Democrats have pledged to scrap the tolls completely.

  • Kirsty at conference rally Glasgow 2013
    Article: Nov 11, 2014

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed announcements today that the Coalition Government will publish plans for a reserved powers model for Wales, and that 16 year olds will be able to vote in a future income tax referendum.

    Welsh Liberal Democrat Wales Office Minister Jenny Randerson made the announcements to the House of Lords today, having been driving the devolution agenda for Wales in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum.