Skip to main content
bbc.co.uk
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index

BBC News

BBC Election 2005

Watch the BBC Election News
SERVICES
  • Election news alerts
  • Email services
  • Mobiles/PDAs
  • News for your site
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Kennedy positive campaign pledge
Charles Kennedy at Cardiff International Airport
Charles Kennedy arriving at Cardiff International Airport
Liberal Democrats will refuse to "play on people's fears" in the election campaign, Charles Kennedy has promised.

The Lib Dem leader flew into Cardiff International Airport for the launch of his party's Welsh campaign as part of a day-long hop to four parts of the UK.

Mr Kennedy said Lib Dems would offer "positive solutions to real problems".

Labour said he was ashamed to visit the city, Tories said Lib Dems must "share blame" for assembly government failings and Plaid Cymru focused on the young.

Mr Kennedy's flying visit allowed him time to also reach Exeter, Bristol and Birmingham on Thursday.

You can't get something for nothing and we are not saying you can
Charles Kennedy MP, Liberal Democrat leader
Questioned about why his Welsh trip meant he was confined to the airport in the Vale of Glamorgan, he pledged that he would be back in Cardiff proper before the campaign ended.

The Lib Dem leader said he would be arguing for an NHS which put patients first and abandoned its "obsession with centrally-driven targets," and for an end to tuition fees, which amounted to a drop in the ocean for the financial challenges facing universities.

Jon Owen Jones
Labour's Jon Owen Jones said Lib Dems had a terrible record
His party would also scrap the "regressive" council tax and replace it with a local income tax related to ability to pay.

Mr Kennedy dismissed Labour claims that his party ran "dirty" campaigns. He said Labour was "rattled with very good reason".

The Liberal Democrats have teamed up with the Tories to attack families, young people and pensioners
Jon Owen Jones MP, Labour
The Lib Dems have two Welsh MPs, with Cardiff Central their top target seat in the UK. Mr Kennedy said there would be a "much enhanced" Lib Dem presence in the next parliament.

Labour Cardiff Central MP Jon Owen Jones said it was "no wonder" Mr Kennedy did not go into the city, because the Lib Dems had a "terrible record" there.

Cardiff Council is Lib Dem-led, and Mr Jones said: "The Liberal Democrats have teamed up with the Tories to attack families, young people and pensioners.

"They have cut vital services such as community safety wardens, funding for meals on wheels, introduced charging for youth clubs and slashed funding for worthwhile projects such as the women's workshop."

The Conservatives said Lib Dems should shoulder blame for "longer waiting lists, higher council tax bills and failing public services" during the three years of their coalition with Labour in the Welsh Assembly Government.

Tory Vale of Glamorgan prospective candidate Alun Cairns said: "Liberal Democrats in Wales need to accept their share of responsibility for the dreadful state of public services following their three years in government with Labour.

"In spite of the extra money that's been spent, they were part of a government that contributed to record hospital waiting lists, failing public services, and higher council tax bills."

Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price and a group of prospective parliamentary candidates met a group of supporters at a cyber café in Cardiff, with their party claiming that young people may be put off voting because of a "lack of trust in Tony Blair's government and politicians in general".

Mr Price said: "We believe strongly there is a real danger that young people are turning their backs on politics and elections, especially following the way we were dragged into the Iraq war.

"I have campaigned for Tony Blair's impeachment because I believe a prime minister should not be allowed to lie to the people."





LINKS TO MORE WALES STORIES