Election 2017

No Liberal MP in Wales for the first time since 1859

Mark Williams with Lloyd George stamp Image copyright Welsh Liberal Democrats
Image caption Mark Williams, holding a stamp featuring former prime minister Lloyd George, has lost his seat

There is no Liberal MP in Wales for the first time since the party formed.

The only Lib Dem MP Mark Williams was defeated by 23-year-old Ben Lake, who stood for Plaid Cymru in Ceredigion.

Mr Lake, the country's youngest MP, defeated the Lib Dem's leader in Wales by 104 votes.

It ends 158 years in parliament for Welsh party MPs, which counted the first and only Welshman to be prime minister among its members.

The Liberal Party was formed in 1859, was the first political party to recognise Wales as a political nation in its own right with the formation of the Welsh Liberal Council in 1897.

Because of this the Welsh Liberal Democrats boast on their website: "The Welsh Liberal Democrats have the deepest roots of any Welsh political party."

Member of the fledging Welsh wing of the party David Lloyd George would go on to be the only Welsh prime minister to date.

But the party has seen a gradual decline in recent years in Wales. In 2015 two of their three MPs lost their seats in the general election.

Then in 2016 four of the five Lib Dem AMs lost their seats with just Kirsty Williams AM retaining her seat of Brecon and Radnorshire.

Now Ms Williams is the only remaining Liberal Democrat elected in Wales, and she sits as Education Minister in Carwyn Jones's Labour Welsh Government.

The Welsh Lib Dems have also seen problems in the House of Lords when, earlier this year former Welsh Lib Dem leader Lord Carlile quit the party leaving them with six representatives in the house.

"This is a sad day for liberalism in Wales," said chair of the Welsh Liberal Democrat National Executive Committee Carole O'Toole.

"This is a difficult result for us following the results in last year's Assembly elections and we will need to take stock and consider how we move forward from here."

Image copyright Getty Images

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