The Spectator has received verification from a LPUK source that they are currently voting on a merger deal between the Welsh Libertarians and the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The deal, if voted through, will create the Welsh Liberal party, and will likely become the highest polling party in Wales.
The Liberal party will be lead by Tarkin, while Rhys will be appointed as Deputy Leader. Subsequent leadership will be elected by the membership.
The merger agreement, seen by this paper, reads more like a coalition deal for the upcoming election, covering policy areas including public services, devolution and the economy.
The Liberal party will pledge it’s support to strong devolution measures, previously opposed to by the Liberal Democrats, including areas that are not even devolved to Scotland such as Welfare and Corporation tax.
Plans for the economy seem to be LPUK-driven, keeping all taxes as they are with a surplus in the public finances, and funding it via LVT. However, the party also signs itself up to large spending projects on energy, justice and health – all presumably funded by an LVT rise.
The party also commits to attempts to undo F4, the funding agreement written the Conservative government that gave Wales extra billions to spend, as well as a deprivation grant.
A source within the Welsh Conservatives said “We would be willing to work with the new Liberal party, but there would have to be significant compromises from both sides.”
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