After Lembit: Lib Dems in Montgomeryshire select Jane “Fresh Start” Dodds to win back former liberal stronghold

by Stephen Tall on July 27, 2013

Jane DoddsThe parliamentary constituency of Montgomeryshire had been a Liberal stronghold since 1880, bar four years in Margaret Thatcher’s first term. The seat of former Liberal leader Clem Davies was, however, lost by 1,184 votes to the Tories in 2010 after a massive 13% swing against three-term MP Lembit Opik.

Returning Montgomeryshire to the Liberal fold is, therefore, a top Lib Dem target in 2015. And this week the party took an important step by selecting a new candidate, Jane Dodds, and billing her candidacy as A Fresh Start:

Liberal Democrats in Montgomeryshire have selected Jane Dodds as the Westminster parliamentary candidate for the 2015 elections.

Jane was born in Wrexham, North Wales, and was brought up in a Welsh speaking home. She lives with husband Patrick and both work in the public sector. Jane is currently a senior service manager working in a national organisation working to look after and protect children in the court system. She previously worked with the Refugee Council, heading up work with children who are refugees and asylum seekers.

Montgomeryshire Liberal Democrats are hoping that the selection of Jane as their candidate will represent a fresh start for liberalism in the once liberal stronghold.

Speaking following her selection by a ballot of local party members, Jane Dodds said:

“It is a great honour to be selected as the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate in Montgomeryshire for the 2015 elections.

“My priority for Mont is jobs – creating and retaining jobs in the area. The Liberal Democrats in government are already pushing for more jobs and apprenticeships to be created through our ‘Million jobs’ campaign. Creating jobs in rural Wales is often harder and that is why I am
committed to bring jobs to this area.

“We need jobs here in Mont and we need them fast. Liberal Democrats in Government have helped business create more than a million private sector jobs and are looking to help create a million more.

“The Liberal Democrats want to create a stronger economy and a fairer society. We know that Labour can’t be trusted with the economy again and the Conservatives can’t deliver a fairer society. Only the Liberal Democrats can provide both.

“Montgomeryshire has a proud and great Liberal tradition and I will work tirelessly to ensure that I provide a fresh start for Mont.”

William Powell, Local Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member said:

“This is very good news for the people of Montgomeryshire. Jane has a strong track record of working in the community and delivery. Her priorities of creating jobs, looking after the vulnerable and protecting the environment reflect the priorities of local people.

“With Jane working hard and campaigning for local people, this will be a new chapter for liberalism in Montgomeryshire.”

Good luck, Jane. Or, rather, pob lwc

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.