Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Monday, 11 May 2009 17:16 UK

Lib Dems offering 'voice of hope'

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said we needed to "stand tall" in Europe on issues which affected everyone

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said his party offered a "voice of hope" as he launched its Welsh European election campaign on Monday.

Mr Clegg visited Coleg Gwent in Newport to see how the college was providing skills training to young people in the area.

The Lib Dems are hoping to have their first MEP for Wales elected on 4 June.

Mr Clegg said he hoped people would reject "Tweedledee, Tweedledum politics" and turn to his party.

"I think people are increasingly realising that as Liberal Democrats, we are a different voice and a voice of hope as well," he said.

We've got to stand tall in Europe
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg

"Look at the European elections. People might think it's not really relevant to them but if you are worried about crime, if you are worried about how you are going to protect your family from climate change, from the credit crunch, we can't do these things on our own.

"We've got to stand tall in Europe, work with others to provide jobs, protect jobs for these youngsters, protect the environment and deal with crime which now doesn't know borders.

"I don't think that's being offered by any other parties."

He said the Liberal Democrats shared the values of "many, many people in Wales".

Mr Clegg visited the college with the Welsh Lib Dem leader in the assembly, Kirsty Williams, former assembly leader Mike German and the party's lead European candidate, Alan Butt Philip.

'Challenging people'

Mr Butt Philip said voters wanted a party that was prepared to be honest with them.

"I'm picking up that people are absolutely appalled by what's happening to the Labour government and, indeed, to politics in general," he said.

"They are looking for people who are prepared to speak their mind, who are prepared to deal honestly, who are prepared to put out the issues as they are.

"Although I'm sometimes challenging people with a message that says Europe is working for us not against us, we're finding that there are many more people coming our way."

The election takes place on Thursday, 4 June.

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