South East Wales

Charlotte Church joins march against austerity cuts

Image caption Marchers gathered around the statue of NHS founder Aneurin Bevan

Hundreds of people have marched through Cardiff city centre to protest against budget and austerity cuts.

Protesters gathered on Queen Street at 13:00 BST for the event organised by the Cardiff's People Assembly,

It follows a similar rally two days after the general election, which saw singer Charlotte Church launch an attack on the Conservative party.

Church joined the march for the second week running.

Warning against a "Tory ideology of greed and money", Saturday's protest was also supported on Twitter by Welsh actor Michael Sheen.

Police estimated over 500 people were at the event, whilst organisers put the figure closer to 1,000.

The Conservative Party has been asked to comment on the march.

Organiser Jamie Insole said: "I am thrilled that Michael has chosen to support this event.

"With 74% of new Welsh jobs below the living wage, the weeping sore of the bedroom tax and communities confronting record cuts, we need a grass roots movement to push back."

Image caption Placards protesting austerity and budget cut were carried at the rally
Image caption Charlotte Church walked in amongst the other marchers
Image caption The march went through the city's main shopping streets
Image caption Wales Green Party leader Pippa Bartolotti took part in the action
Image copyright Jon Blake
Image caption The march ended in a rally outside Cardiff's main library

Fellow organiser Adam Johannes said: "In 1945, Britain was bankrupt, in debt, with a higher deficit than now and yet the government built half-a-million council houses, founded the NHS, launched the welfare state.

"We do not accept a government that less than quarter of people actually voted for can take that away from us."

Parents Bob and Emma Gwinnett-Davies joined the rally after what they called a "devastating general election result".

Speaking to BBC Wales, Mrs Gwinnet-Davies said she was concerned about her son's future concerning the NHS and free healthcare.

She added they were "not happy about the changing face of this country and the cuts that are happening".

Although at the forefront of the previous march, Ms Church chose a less prominent role on Saturday and decided to stay among the crowds.

'Mad as hell'

At the first march the mother of two addressed around 200 campaigners on Queen Street and carried a placard which read she was "mad as hell".

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies hit back at Ms Church's comments, calling them "unfortunate and unbecoming", and describing her as "champagne socialist".

Image copyright Matthew Horwood/Wales News
Image caption Charlotte Church at the previous march the day after the general election result

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