BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2008, 12:49 GMT
Lib Dems leader addresses party
Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg will give his first speech at a national conference
The leader of the UK Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, made his first speech to delegates during their conference in Llandudno on Saturday.

At the Welsh Lib Dems conference, he challenged the party to double the number of their MPs.

He also launched an attack on Labour for 'a hundred years of mis-rule in Wales'.

Welsh Lib Dems leader Mike German is expected to remind delegates of his plans to stand down.

The party currently has four members of parliament and the aim, which was outlined by Mr Clegg will be to increase the number of MPs within the next two general elections.

Their success during the local elections in 2004, and the expectation that a new leader, along with new policies will attract more voters makes Mr Clegg confident that they will be able to meet the challenge:

"Ambitious? Yes. Challenging? Yes. But attainable? You bet your life it is", he said.

During his attack on Labour, he said the gap between the rich and the poor has widened, and Labour had failed to combat child poverty.

He is also said that opportunities in life should not be dictated by where a person is born.

"Families are trapped in poverty. A boy born in Merthyr will die five years before a boy born in Ceredigion.

"Five years that boy in Merthyr will never live to see.

"What kind of society tolerates that?", Mr Clegg said.

Mike German
Mike German plans to stand down after the local elections

He also talked about Wales' traditional radical roots "the Chartists, the Rebecca Rioters, Cymru Fydd" and said that the Lib Dems were the party that connected with these roots.

"We are Wales' radical past, we must be Wales' radical future too", said Mr Clegg.

Mr Clegg paid tribute to Mike German for his role as leader in Wales: "He has been a dedicated servant to the party and the people of Wales."

Meanwhile, Mike German is expected to say he intends to stand down "as soon as seems sensible and practicable" following the local elections in May.

And he will focus on the changes he has implemented in what is expected to be a positive and forward looking speech.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats results following the assembly elections in May 2007 were disappointing.

Mr German will outline the number of reviews he has announced since then, including a review of campaigning, a review of their constitution and a policies review.

Reviews of health and education policy are already under way, and other policy changes are being undertaken to form new policies before the Assembly elections in 2011.

Mr German is expected to respond to criticism by the Welsh Labour Leader Rhodri Morgan, about the way the Liberal Democrats have run some councils.

He is expected to say: "Rhodri Morgan likes to discuss our record in local government, and I like to discuss our record in local government too".

He will say that the Liberal Democrats have delivered in local government.

On Saturday delegates will also hear from the leader of the Liberal Democrats at the Welsh Local Government Association, Rodney Berman.

Amongst the themes that will be discussed in the conference on Saturday are economic regeneration, NHS Trust mergers, local income tax, votes for under 16s and cash-only tolls on the Severn Bridge.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific