Focus on Lesley Prosser, our candidate for Carmarthenshire East and Dinefwr:
Lesley shines at Llandeilo hustings
This was a lively and well attended event. Since campaigning was suspended twice, several hustings in the Carmarthenshire East and Dinefwr constituency had to be cancelled, leaving this as the main opportunity to see the candidates live.
The opening statements showed how Brexit is still a prominent theme in this election. Lesley received a warm applause for her pro-EU stance and her understanding of the issue. After all, she had coordinated the In-campaign only last year.
In stark contrast to this the conservative candidate Havard Hughes got booed and even laughed at when he claimed that the EU was out to divide the UK with its politics.
Since 70 % of Llandeilo voted to remain, I would have advised him to do his homework before rushing in with such a bold statement. You need to know your audience and constituency. It showed that the man was not a local resident.
His sub-sequent provocative and aggressive tone towards the other parties and candidates showed perfectly how his party is the one dividing the country, and not the EU.
As often in Wales, one of the first questions was about the local connection the candidates had with Carmarthenshire and their contributions to the area. Lesley had no problem answering that after living here all of her life and having been involved in plenty of local projects.
Again, Havard Hughes did not do well on this one by opening with a clearly rehearsed sentence in Welsh to prove his lineage and then trying to convince the audience that his achievements in Coventry had relevance to Wales and Carmarthenshire especially. In fact, the audience started to become short and shouted critical follow-up questions.
You wouldn't have known that Lesley only recently became a politician. She was at ease with public speaking, familiar with the party's politics and found it easy to answer all kinds of questions. Especially since the Lib Dem manifesto answers all pressing points, from mental health and NHS funding to triple lock and dementia tax.
Plaid and Labour often agreed with Lesley in her opinions and takes on certain issues. For example they also supported a voting system that allowed 16 year olds to vote, as Lesley so passionately demanded. The conservative candidate was the only to disagree with such a change, probably, as the Labour candidate put it, “because the young people do not vote for your party.”
The discussion with Plaid and Labour certainly was fruitful and interesting. “I like some of your policies,” Lesley said to both of them, “but as Lib Dem I'm an Internationalist. I want a Federal Wales and I want to keep our access to the single market, whereas Corbyn wants only the benefits of it.”
Lesley also came up trumps with our fully costed manifesto, while the other parties couldn't quite claim the same, particularly Havard Hughes again. When pushed why the Conservative Manifesto wasn't costed he replied: “Because we're in government and don't have to.”
To me this showed just how arrogant the Tories are, and how far to the right they have drifted. Havard dodged many questions with evasive statements, to which the audience frequently responded by shouting “Answer our question!”
Lesley simply was a star with her clear answers, her congenital spirit and warm nature. She didn't have to blame Blairites for the banking crisis, nor attack any of the other parties. For me she was by far the best candidate and the perfect person to represent our constituency.
On June 8th - vote for Lesley Prosser and the Welsh Liberal Democrats. Vote to change Wales's future. Your future!