Thursday, 3 September 2020

New "Wales spokesperson" shows LIb Dems are an irrelevance here.

 Frankly i don't see how the Liberal Democrats, had much choice in appointing   a Scottish MP as Wales spokesperson in t this weeks reshuffle.

Welsh Nation report that

A former Liberal Democrat Senedd Member has said that it is an “embarrassment” that the party has named a Scottish MP as Wales spokesperson in today’s reshuffle.

The new Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said that North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain will be his spokesperson on Wales.

“Since when was Fife anywhere near Wales? This is an embarrassment,” Peter Black responded on Twitter. He is Liberal Democrat Councillor and Former Lord Mayor of Swansea.

The Liberal Democrats currently have no MPs in Wales, having lost Brecon and Radnorshire to the Conservatives at the 2019 General Election.

Wendy Chamberlain, one of 11 Liberal Democrat MPs, was also named Chief Whip and Scotland spokesperson.

She previously held the Wales brief when Ed Davey was the interim leader. Jane Dodds is the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and their only Senedd Member, Kirsty Williams, is Education Minister in the Welsh Government.

Prior to the 2019 election, the Welsh spokesperson role was filled by Baroness Christine Humphreys of Llanrwst.

With no Welsh MPs and only eleven in the house of Commons four of which represent Scottish constituencies it was either a Lib Dem MP with no welsh connection , or turn to the house of Lords again 

Outline map

 The main problem with Md Chamberlain is that her visits if any  , are likely to be infrequent, given the distance from her constituency and the fact her seat is marginal

ions in the 2010s[edit]

General election 2019: North East Fife[2][3]
Liberal DemocratsWendy Chamberlain19,76343.1+10.2
SNPStephen Gethins18,44740.2+7.3
ConservativeTony Miklinski5,96113.0-11.1
LabourWendy Haynes1,7073.7-5.9
Liberal Democrats gain from SNPSwing+1.5

The seat was notable in several respects in the 2019 general election: it was the SNP's only loss of the election and was the seat with the largest decrease in vote share for the Conservative Party (after the special case of Chorley, where the party did not stand). The seat had the smallest Labour share of the vote in the United Kingdom at 3.7%,[5] The seat went from the most marginal seat in Britain at the 2017 general election to the fortieth most marginal in 2019 (measured by percentage majority) The seat was the second most marginal Liberal Democrat-held seat at the election (after Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross), when measured by absolute majority.

So Ms Chamberlin with the Liberal Democrat contingent in the UK Parliament reduced following the general election, Chamberlain was appointed t party spokesperson in three areas: Political and Constitutional Reform; Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; and International Development. a large remit for someone whose going to have to spend a great deal of her time in her constituency in order to defend it.

There is of course an argument that the position Secretary of State in the devolved areas should be abolished  and replaced by a minister for the devolved legislatures.

It would help to answer the problem of when there is no MP in the goverment in Wales or Scotland , but that is of course what happens all the time.

Indeed  the biggest question is who is the leader of the Unionist Parties in Wales and Scotland , should it be the Minister  or his or her's shadow.

I don't think Mr Black should be embarrassed over Md Chamberlain appointment, rather he should consider whether his party is even relevant in Wales , With no MPs , one AM absorbed into mthe Labour government with no sign of a recovery

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