Have the Lib Dems found an election-winning strategy?


He only started his new job this morning, but Winston Roddick has already been nominated for a prestigious award.

Mr Roddick won the race to be Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales as an independent candidate.

A Liberal Democrat briefing sent to party spokespeople last Friday highlighted the North Wales result: "In Wales, Lib Dem member Winston Roddick won the North Wales PCC seat. He ran as an independent and was backed by Kirsty Williams."

His victory was raised this morning in the House of Commons - by Labour. Shadow Leader of the Commons, Angela Eagle, briefed MPs on developments:

"It appears the Liberal Democrats used the PCC elections to test out their brand new election strategy. In North Wales, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats endorsed one Winston Roddick because she said 'as an independent candidate he is free from party political pressure', and he was elected.

"But it was subsequently uncovered that Mr Roddick was in fact a member of the Liberal Democrats masquerading as an independent.

"Can we have an urgent debate, Mr Speaker, on this new electoral strategy by the Liberal Democrats to hoodwink people into voting for them?"

The morning after last night's Spectator parliamentarian of the year awards, Ms Eagle had an idea for a future award winner: "Do you think we should nominate Mr Roddick the not-so-independent police and crime commissioner for politician of the year because he's the only Liberal Democrat to have found an election-winning strategy?"

The Leader of the Commons, Andrew Lansley, has strong family links to North Wales: "As it happened, my wife met him [Winston Roddick] at Menai Bridge during the fair. He came up to her and said: 'Do you know anything about the police and crime commissioner elections?'

"She said: 'As it happens, I do.' But curiously, because I've checked with her, Mr Winston Roddick didn't disclose any party affiliation whatsoever. So there we have it."

Labour's Kevin Brennan later returned to the issue: "There's evidence that this has been happening in positions even of higher status than that of police and crime commissioner, namely the deputy prime minister, where we've got a Tory pretending to be a Liberal Democrat."

Mr Lansley said he couldn't speak from personal experience of Mr Roddick but thanks to his wife he did have "some knowledge of this matter".

Mr Roddick said on twitter: "I have made no attempt to hide party membership during the campaign. I stood as independent, and will serve as an independent."

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    What Reg and lose a £100,000 a year and all that power.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Another reason the public are loosing trust in politicians
    This guy should Resign

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    WR got his votes from across North Wales and from all party backgrounds and none. As a former ELECTED Independent
    member - rather than appointed one, I rang four of my former elected
    INDEPENDENT colleagues . All voted for him and all four as I did; put Mr Michael junior as our second choice! I have never met WR but the CV of both men put them head and shoulders ahead in what was needed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    I'm afraid the people of North Wales were misled. It's not too strong a word to say that Winston Roddick's approach to revealing his party affiliation was deceitful.

    If he knew anything about justice, he would resign.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    I think it would have been wise to resign his party membership before entering the race as an 'independent'. Did he fund his campaign himself? Or did his fellow party members chip in?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Thank you for your comments. AwesomeWelles, Commissioner Roddick may have said many times during the campaign he was a Liberal Democrat member but I can't find any mention of that on his independent website. http://www.winston4pcc.com/category/saesneg/

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Tall-order for labour (to be honest any political party) to take the moral highground on hoodwinking the electorate. Enough said.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    ..and, for full disclosure, Awesome Welles should add that the Lib Dem connection was NOT mentioned in WR's literature or press releases - the info.was teased out by others, which is the real point.

    Water under the bridge now, though - let's see WR redeem himself with a spectacular term of office. That's what's really important.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I voted for him and voted LibDem in 3 General Elections, but would have preferred that he had been upfront in his literature and had said
    " I am a member of the Lib Dems but am standing as an independent". People respect transparency and are tired of fudge.

    Churlish,though, not to wish him well in a difficult task.

    Chris Drew. (Independent member of now-defunct North Wales Police Authority)

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    "But it was subsequently uncovered that Mr Roddick was in fact a member of the Liberal Democrats masquerading as an independent." -

    This is a lie that the Labour party keep trying to spread. Winston Roddick was completely open about being a Lib Dem member and said so many times on the campaign. As an employee for the BBC, you should point that out David.



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