world : Lib Dems and Reform aim for Tory wipeout in Wales

world : Lib Dems and Reform aim for Tory wipeout in Wales
world : Lib Dems and Reform aim for Tory wipeout in Wales

Friday 14 June 2024 10:31 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Mr Lewis, who as well as standing as a candidate in the election is currently researching "British state failure" as a PHD student at Oxford University - where he also teaches British politics - batted away a suggestion that his party's aim for net zero immigration could cause gaps in workforces, including in social and health care.

"I think the exposure is caused by decades of supply-side failure of our schools, especially secondary schools in Wales, to provide the skilled labour our industries need," he said.

Mr Lewis said that the UK "can't keep plugging the skills gap by immigrating people", and said it was "morally reprehensible" to pull foreign labour into the health service - saying it is "not a long-term solution to our issues".

Mr Lewis compared Reform to "historical social movements" like the Chartists and the Suffragette Movement and was "focused on reforming the institutions of the British state".

"What we have in this country, I'd argue, is a British state that actually works against the interests of our citizens rather than for them," he said.

Asked about Reform potentially collaborating with the Tories in future , Mr Lewis said: "Personally speaking, I wouldn't wish to have alignment with the Conservative party. I think it's a failing institution and, frankly, it needs to die.

"I think the Labour party has lots of issues as well, and that's why I think there's such popular expression democratically for change."

Anthony Slaughter, leader of Wales Green Party, told the programme that tackling the cost-of-living and climate crises are “one and the same”.

“We’re the only party that’s honest with people about what’s needed to tackle the climate crisis,” he said, adding that the party wants the UK to be net zero by 2040.

While he conceded the Greens will not be forming a government after the votes are counted on 5 July, “not yet, not this election”, he claimed the party would “at least” quadruple its number of MPs.

The party had one, Brighton Pavilion, last time out.

Pleased with campaign

From looking terrified on a rollercoaster to belly-flopping off a paddleboard, Sir Ed Davey's antics are proving irresistible to newspaper front pages. Jane Dodds and the Lib Dems are clearly delighted with the impact. The twin strategy of fun, followed up by the serious point of their leader having to care for his disabled son, is effective so far. But there is a lot of ground to make up after a torrid decade or so for the party at Westminster following their period in coalition government with the Conservatives.

The new Chartists

I'm not sure that being the rightful political heirs of social movements like the Chartists would be a typical answer from Reform candidates to describe the party - but it was for Oliver Lewis, the university lecturer who is their lead spokesman in Wales. But there was nothing academic about his attitude towards the Tory party in Wales. He doesn't want to just finish it off, he says: "It needs to die."

Moving on

You really know when returning to the subject of Brexit has become truly unpalatable when it even keeps a low profile in a Liberal Democrat manifesto. The arch remainers admitted there was no appetite for the old battles, although they would like to return to the single market. Jane Dodds also insisted no one had mentioned their controversial coalition government policy of tuition fees for "a couple of years".

Going green

Almost regardless of the final vote, the Greens insist it is a big moment for them to be able to say for the first time that they are fielding candidates in every constituency in Wales.

Smaller parties

The big danger for smaller parties at a general election is being squeezed out by the Conservatives and Labour, who try to make it a two-horse race whenever they can. But this time round, the feeling is that they can have an impact, both in terms of voters and on the policy agenda.

Jane Dodds, Oliver Lewis and Anthony Slaughter's full interview with Nick Servini will be broadcast on BBC One Wales and online at 19:00 BST on Friday.

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth’s interview will run at 19:00 BST on Monday.

You can watch Labour's Nick Thomas-Symonds' interview here and Conservative's David TC Davies here.

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