Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Monday, 3 November 2008

AM starts Lib Dem leadership bid

Jenny Randerson and Kirsty Williams
Jenny Randerson (left) has joined Kirsty Williams in campaigning for the post

Jenny Randerson has officially launched her campaign to be the next leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, as nominations for the post close.

The Cardiff Central AM announced her intention to stand following the resignation speech of outgoing leader Mike German who steps down in December.

She said she aimed to double the number of Lib Dem AMs to 12 by 2015, calling this a "bold" but "achievable" goal.

Brecon and Radnorshire AM Kirsty Williams is also standing for the post.

Ms Randerson's ideas on improving life for people in Wales were explained at an event in Cardiff, before she travelled to Wrexham to launch her north Wales campaign.

They are also outlined in her "Changing Wales" document, which focuses on themes of fairness, 'empowerment' and the environment.

Her ideas include:

  • A radical re-regulation of public transport
  • A simplification of local government funding
  • A plan to make Wales a world leader in environmental economic growth
  • A promise of a commission to investigate the potential greater use of public referendums on assembly government policy

Ms Randerson is also working on proposals to change party structures and processes, to be outlined later in her campaign.

She announced the appointment of Jenny Willott MP and leader of Wrexham council Aled Roberts as chairs of her campaign.

She said: "My vision for Wales sets out what I think are radical ideas that we need to push forward if we are to regain our edge.

"Over the last 10 years, we have progressed in almost every level of government apart from one.

"We have to do better in the next assembly election or we risk being completely sidelined in Welsh politics.

"That is why I have set a very bold target of doubling our number of AMs in two elections.

"This will be tough but achievable. I am currently drawing up radical proposals to change the party structures and processes, which I will release in the coming days. If we follow these and are courageous in our policy, there is no reason why we can't continue as a bold, radical force in Welsh politics."

Ms Randerson's bid to become the next Welsh Lib Dem leader is also backed by Eleanor Burnham AM, Lembit Opik MP, Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman and former Bridgend Council leader Cheryl Green.

Ms Randerson said she had received pledges of support from "almost half" of all Lib Dem councillors in Wales.

She served as acting deputy first minister when Mr German temporarily stepped down in 2001.

The new leader of the Welsh Lib Dems is expected to be announced by 9 December.

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