Deadlock on Assembly First Minister vote as it turns out Kirsty Williams has principles

Kirsty Williams: This shot was taken at the Liberal Democrats' autumn conference.

Kirsty Williams: This shot was taken at the Liberal Democrats’ autumn conference.

A week in politics is a long time – and less than a week after This Writer’s friend and Labour candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, Alex Thomas, lost to Kirsty Williams, I find myself writing in praise of her.

Don’t get me wrong – Ms Williams fought a dirty campaign that was about running down the Conservative candidate and begging for votes from supporters of other parties to make sure he didn’t get in.

As it turned out, she need not have bothered because the choice of ‘Marmite’ Gary Price, a county councillor who has been an Independent several times, along with a candidate for Plaid Cymru at the last Assembly elections and now a Tory, drove normally-Tory voters away. He lost the Conservatives nearly 2,000 votes in comparison to the 2011 election.

But I’m not praising Ms Williams on her election victory – I’m praising her because it turns out she actually has principles. Credit where it’s due.

The Welsh Assembly voted on who should become First Minister today. The choice was between current FM Carwyn Jones, who had 28 Labour Assembly Members behind him, or Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood, who had 29 AMs supporting her, from Plaid, the Conservatives and UKIP.

So the result fell on the shoulders of the single remaining Liberal Democrat in the Assembly. She decided – well, here’s her comment from the BBC News story:

Commenting on her decision to back Mr Jones, Ms Williams said: “I was not re-elected into the National Assembly to support a ragtag coalition made up of UKIP assembly members who at the moment can’t even agree with each other.

“That is not my politics and not something I will even contemplate.

“I am disappointed that Plaid seem to think that is a viable option.

“The reality that we have to face is that Labour have 29 assembly members.

“It is therefore clear that they have the strongest mandate from the people of Wales.”

Result: Deadlock. They’ll all have to come back again later and try to find another way.

Ms Williams’s decision reflects that of Nick Clegg after the 2010 Parliamentary election. While it has been suggested that Clegg would have supported the Tories in any event, due to an alleged backroom deal in March 2010, the stated reason was always that the Tories had more MPs than anyone else.

I see with amusement that she has also noted the style of politics practised by UKIP.

Source: Welsh Assembly: Deadlock in vote for first minister – BBC News


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1 thought on “Deadlock on Assembly First Minister vote as it turns out Kirsty Williams has principles

  1. Neilth

    So Plaid Cymru are still playing preschool politics. They threw their toys out of the pram over a tasteless joke and thus sabotaged a crucial piece of legislation that would have secured cooperation in the provision of care, a policy they actually advocate. Now they dance hand in hand with extreme right wingers and the corrupt whose prime aim is to disrupt and ultimately destroy the assembly which they have long opposed. I thought better of Leanne Wood than this, thinking that she would want to buckle down and get on with the job of improving Wales. PC are in a strong position being able to offer strong but critical support and encouraging policies they would like to see pushed up the agenda but instead they choose to play to the gallery for cheap publicity and to little avail. They should grow up and distance themselves from their right wing ‘supporters’ who will stab them in the back at the first chance.
    Shame on you Leanne.

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