The Welsh Liberal Democrat Special Conference in Newtown has overwhelmingly endorsed the Progressive Agreement reached between Kirsty Williams AM and Welsh Labour, and the invitation to Kirsty Williams AM to take up the position of Cabinet Secretary for Education.
Speaking after the vote, Kirsty Williams AM for Brecon & Radnorshire and Education Secretary, said:
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will now play our part in delivering real change in the way government works for the people of Wales.
“I will be in government as a Welsh Liberal Democrat, guided by our values and commitments.
“It is those values – of democracy, of commitment to education, of equality – that were at the heart of today’s conference. It was essential that the membership of the party got the opportunity to debate and vote on delivering our manifesto commitments.
“We have proved ourselves up to the challenge of finding common ground with others, and the confidence and ambition to work together for the good of Wales.
“I look forward to working with the First Minister, with cabinet colleagues, and with other progressives to reduce class sizes, deliver more nurses, be ambitious in our approach to housing, ending mental health discrimination, and supporting teachers and our young people to achieve the highest standards.
“I also aim to ensure that our universities and further education colleges are at the beating heart of innovation in our economy and core to the promotion of social mobility.”
Mark Williams MP, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:
“I am delighted that our members have endorsed the Progressive Agreement. We practice what we preach, the value of democracy through one member, one vote.
“Education is in our DNA as Welsh Liberal Democrats. We will now see that approach, and our ideas, pursued at the heart of Government.
“As Kirsty made clear today, this approach is not without risks. But my clear view, and that of the party today, is that the greater risk is to allow this opportunity for real change to pass us, and education in Wales, by.
“This chance to embrace and lead a new politics, a new approach to government, and help our students, teachers, parents and pupils achieve their potential is an opportunity that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will meet with passion, conviction and ambition.”