1975 United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum
The United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum known variously as the Referendum on the European Community, the Common Market referendum and EEC membership referendum, took place under the provisions of the Referendum Act 1975 on 5 June 1975 in the United Kingdom to gauge support for the country's continued membership of the European Communities — known at the time as the European Community and the Common Market — which it had entered two and a half years earlier on 1 January 1973 under the Conservative government of Edward Heath. Labour's manifesto for the October 1974 general election had promised that the people would decide through the ballot box whether to remain in the EC; this was the first national referendum to be held throughout the entire United Kingdom and remained the only UK-wide referendum until the 2011 referendum on alternative voting was held thirty-six years and was the only referendum to be held on the UK's relationship with Europe until the 2016 referendum on continued EU membership.
The electorate expressed significant support for EC membership, with 67% in favour on a national turnout of 64%. The referendum result was not binding. In a 1975 pamphlet Prime Minister Harold Wilson said: "I ask you to use your vote. For it is your vote; the Government will accept your verdict." The pamphlet said: "Now the time has come for you to decide. The Government will accept your decision — whichever way it goes." The February 1974 general election had yielded a Labour minority government, which won a majority in the October 1974 general election. Labour pledged in its February 1974 manifesto to renegotiate the terms of British accession to the EC, to consult the public on whether Britain should stay in the EC on the new terms, if they were acceptable to the government; the Labour Party had feared the consequences of EC membership, such as the large differentials between the high price of food under the Common Agricultural Policy and the low prices prevalent in Commonwealth markets, as well as the loss of both economic sovereignty and the freedom of governments to engage in socialist industrial policies, party leaders stated their opinion that the Conservatives had negotiated unfavourable terms for Britain.
The EC heads of government agreed to a deal in Dublin on 11 March 1975. On 9 April the House of Commons voted by 396 to 170 to continue within the Common Market on the new terms. Along with these developments, the government drafted a Referendum Bill, to be moved in case of a successful renegotiation; the referendum debate and campaign was an unusual time in British politics and was the third national vote to be held in seventeen months. During the campaign, the Labour Cabinet was split and its members campaigned on each side of the question, an unprecedented breach of Cabinet collective responsibility. Most votes in the House of Commons in preparation for the referendum were only carried after opposition support, the Government faced several defeats on technical issues such as the handling and format of the referendum counts; when the European Coal and Steel Community was instituted in 1952, the United Kingdom decided not to become a member. The UK was still absent when the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, creating the European Economic Community.
However, in the late 1950s the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan changed its attitude and appointed Edward Heath to submit an application and lead negotiations for Britain to enter the Common Market. The application was made at a meeting of the EC in January 1963, but the French president Charles de Gaulle rebuffed and vetoed Britain's request. Despite the veto, Britain restarted talks with the European Communities countries in 1967. Heath included negotiating membership in the 1970 Conservative manifesto. Heath became Prime Minister, led many of the negotiations: he struck up a friendship with the new French president Georges Pompidou, who oversaw the lifting of the veto and thus paved the way for UK membership. Between 21 and 28 October 1971 the House of Commons debated whether or not the UK should become a member of the EC, with Prime Minister Edward Heath commenting just before the vote: The House of Commons voted 356-244 in favour of the motion, with the Prime Minister commenting straight afterwards on behalf of the house.
No referendum was held when Britain agreed to an accession treaty on 22 January 1972 or when the European Communities Act 1972 went through the legislative process, on the grounds that to hold one would be unconstitutional. The United Kingdom joined the European Communities on 1 January 1973, along with Denmark and the Republic of Ireland; the EC would become the European Union. Throughout this period, the Labour Party was divided, both on the substantive issue of EC accession and on the question of whether accession ought to be approved by referendum. In 1971 pro-Market figures such as Roy Jenkins, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, said a Labour government would have agreed to the terms of accession secured by the Con
The Welsh Office was a department in the Government of the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Wales. It was established in April 1965 to execute government policy in Wales, was headed by the Secretary of State for Wales, a post, created in October 1964, it was disbanded on 1 July 1999 when most of its powers were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales, with some powers transferred to the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales. The Welsh Office took over the responsibilities related to housing, local government and town and country planning, etc. for Wales, the responsibilities of several other government departments. Its responsibilities included Monmouthshire, which for some purposes had earlier been considered by some to lie within England. Wales had been incorporated into the English legal system through the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542. Legislation specific to Wales, such as the Sunday Closing Act 1881 and the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1889, began to be introduced in the late 19th century.
Responsibility for Welsh education was given to the Welsh Department of the Board of Education in 1907, the following year the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire was established. The Welsh Board of Health was formed in 1919, the Welsh Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 1922. A Boundary Commission for Wales was set up under the House of Commons Act 1944. A Council for Wales and Monmouthshire was established in 1949 to monitor the effects of government policy. Government departments which had established Welsh offices or units by 1951 included the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the Ministry of Transport, the Forestry Commission, 1951 the office of Minister for Welsh Affairs was created; this post was vested in the Home Secretary until 1957, when it was transferred to the Minister of Housing and Local Government, assisted by a Minister of State. The post of Minister for Welsh Affairs was replaced in 1964 by the office of Secretary of State for Wales, given responsibility for the new Welsh Office in 1965.
The Welsh Office was created to execute government policy in Wales. It took over, from other departments, functions relating to economic planning, local government, environmental health and country planning, Welsh national parks, historic buildings, cultural activities; the Welsh Language Act 1967 formally dissolved the legislation which provided that references made in Parliament to England automatically included Wales, under the Wales and Berwick Act of 1746. By 1969, the role of the Welsh Office had expanded to cover responsibilities for highway construction and maintenance, water, common land, the Historic Buildings Council for Wales, the Countryside Commission in Wales; that year it was given responsibility for health and welfare services, for the use of the Welsh language in the registration of births and deaths. During the 1970s, changes in central government led to the delegation of additional functions. Most responsibilities for primary and secondary education in Wales, were transferred in 1970.
Responsibilities relating to the promotion of industry in Wales were passed to the Welsh Office in 1974-75. In 1978 it gained sole responsibility for agriculture and fishery matters in Wales. By 1998, the Welsh Office comprised the following departments: Agriculture Transport Planning and Environment Group Welsh Office Health Department Economic Development Group Establishments Group Finance Group Education Department Health Professionals Group Industry and Training Group Legal Group Local Government Group. Most of these had headquarters in Cardiff, with offices in London to help co-ordinate policies with Whitehall departments, to provide secretariat and support services for Ministers and the Permanent Secretary. Following the referendum on Welsh devolution in 1997, the Welsh Office was formally disbanded on 1 July 1999 and the majority of its powers were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales; the cabinet position of Secretary of State for Wales was retained as the head of a newly formed Wales Office.
See List of Secretaries of State for Wales Sir Goronwy Daniel KCVO Sir Idwal Pugh KCB Sir Hywel Evans KCB Sir Trevor Hughes KCB Sir Richard Lloyd KCB Sir Michael Scholar KCB Rachel Lomax Sir Jon Shortridge KCB Welsh Office Clip from a 1969 BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary. Welsh Office: 25 Years BBC documentary programme page
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
2014 Scottish independence referendum
A referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom took place on Thursday 18 September 2014. The referendum question was "Should Scotland be an independent country?", which voters answered with "Yes" or "No". The "No" side won, with 2,001,926 voting against 1,617,989 voting in favour; the turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the introduction of universal suffrage. The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013, setting out the arrangements for the referendum, was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013, following an agreement between the devolved Scottish government and the Government of the United Kingdom. To pass, the independence proposal required a simple majority. With some exceptions, all European Union or Commonwealth citizens resident in Scotland aged sixteen years or over could vote, which produced a total electorate of 4,300,000 people; this was the first time that the electoral franchise was extended to include sixteen and seventeen-year-olds in Scotland.
Yes Scotland was the main campaign group for independence, while Better Together was the main campaign group in favour of maintaining the union. Many other campaign groups, political parties, businesses and prominent individuals were involved. Prominent issues raised during the referendum included the currency an independent Scotland would use, public expenditure, EU membership, North Sea oil. An exit poll of voters revealed that for "No"-voters, the retention of the pound sterling was the deciding factor, while for "yes"-voters, the biggest single motivation was "disaffection with Westminster politics"; the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England were established as independent countries during the Middle Ages. After fighting a series of wars during the 14th century, the two monarchies entered a personal union in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became James I of England; the two nations were temporarily united under one government when Oliver Cromwell was declared Lord Protector of a Commonwealth in 1653, but this was dissolved when the monarchy was restored in 1660.
Scotland and England united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Factors in favour of union were, on the Scottish side, the economic problems caused by the failure of the Darien scheme and, on the English, securing the Hanoverian line of succession. Great Britain in turn united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Most of Ireland left the Union in 1922 to form the Irish Free State; the Labour Party was committed to home rule for Scotland in the 1920s, but it slipped down its agenda in the following years. The Scottish National Party was founded in 1934, but did not achieve significant electoral success until the 1960s. A document calling for home rule, the Scottish Covenant, was signed by 2,000,000 people in the late-1940s. Home rule, now known as Scottish devolution, did not become a serious proposal until the late 1970s as the Labour Government of James Callaghan came under electoral pressure from the SNP. A proposal for a devolved Scottish Assembly was put to a referendum in 1979.
A narrow majority of votes were cast in favour of change, but this had no effect due to a requirement that the number voting'Yes' had to exceed 40% of the total electorate. No further constitutional reform was proposed until Labour returned to power in a landslide electoral victory in May 1997. A second Scottish devolution referendum was held that year, as promised in the Labour election manifesto. Clear majorities expressed support for both a devolved Scottish Parliament and that Parliament having the power to vary the basic rate of income tax; the Scotland Act 1998 established the new Scottish Parliament, first elected on 6 May 1999, with power to legislate on unreserved matters within Scotland. A commitment to hold an independence referendum in 2010 was part of the SNP's election manifesto when it contested the 2007 Scottish Parliament election; the press were hostile towards the SNP, with a headline for The Scottish Sun in May 2007 stating – along with an image of a hangman's noose – "Vote SNP today and you put Scotland's head in the noose".
As a result of that election, the SNP became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament and formed a minority government led by the First Minister, Alex Salmond. The SNP administration launched a'National Conversation' as a consultation exercise in August 2007, part of which included a draft referendum bill, the Referendum Bill. After this, a white paper for the proposed Referendum Bill was published, on 30 November 2009, it detailed 4 possible scenarios, with the text of the Referendum to be revealed later. The scenarios were: no change; the Scottish government published a draft version of the bill on 25 February 2010 for public consultation. The consultation paper set out the proposed ballot papers, the mechanics of the proposed referendum, how the proposed referendum was to be regulated. Public responses were invited; the bill outlined three proposals: the first was full devolution or'devolution max', suggesting that the Scottish Parliament should be responsible for "all laws and duties in Scotland", with the exception of "defence and foreign affairs.
William Jefferson Hague, Baron Hague of Richmond, is a British Conservative politician and life peer. He represented Richmond, Yorkshire, as its Member of Parliament from 1989 to 2015 and was the Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2001, he was Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2010 to 2014 and was the Leader of the House of Commons from 2014 to 2015. Hague was educated at Wath Comprehensive School, the University of Oxford and INSEAD, subsequently being returned to the House of Commons at a by-election in 1989. Hague rose through the ranks of the government of John Major and was appointed to Cabinet in 1995 as Secretary of State for Wales. Following the Conservatives' defeat at the 1997 general election by the Labour Party, he was elected Leader of the Conservative Party at the age of 36, he resigned as Conservative Leader after the 2001 general election following his party's second defeat, at which the Conservatives made a net gain of just one seat. He returned to the backbenches, pursuing a career as an author, writing biographies of William Pitt the Younger and William Wilberforce.
He held several directorships, worked as a consultant and public speaker. After David Cameron was elected Leader of the Conservative Party in 2005, Hague was reappointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Foreign Secretary, he assumed the role of "Senior Member of the Shadow Cabinet" serving as Cameron's deputy. After the formation of the Coalition Government in 2010, Hague was appointed First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary. Cameron described him as his "de facto political deputy". On 14 July 2014, Hague became Leader of the House of Commons, he did not stand for re-election at the 2015 general election. Hague was awarded a life peerage in the 2015 Dissolution Honours List on 9 October 2015. Hague was born on 26 March 1961 in Rotherham, England, he boarded at Ripon Grammar School and attended Wath Comprehensive School, a state secondary school near Rotherham. His parents and Stella Hague, ran a soft drinks manufacturing business where he worked during school holidays, his childhood nurse, Bessie Camm, went on to be the oldest living person in Britain from 2016 until her death in 2018, aged 113.
He first made the national news at the age of 16 by addressing the Conservatives at their 1977 Annual National Conference. In his speech he told the delegates: "half of you won't be here in 30 or 40 years' time... but that others would have to live with consequences of a Labour Government if it stayed in power". Writing in his diary at the time Kenneth Rose noted that Peter Carrington told him that "he and several other frontbench Tories were nauseated by the much-heralded speech of a sixteen-year-old schoolboy called William Hague. Peter said to Norman St John Stevas:'If he is as priggish and self-assured as that at sixteen, what will he be like in thirty years' time? Norman replied:'Like Michael Heseltine'". Hague read Philosophy and Economics at Magdalen College, graduating with first-class honours, he was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association, but was "convicted of electoral malpractice" in the election process. OUCA's official historian, David Blair, notes that Hague was elected on a platform pledging to clean up OUCA, but that this was "tarnished by accusations that he misused his position as Returning Officer to help the Magdalen candidate for the presidency, Peter Havey.
Hague was playing the classic game of using his powers as President to keep his faction in power, Havey was duly elected.... There were accusations of blatant ballot box stuffing", he served as President of the Oxford Union, an established route into politics. After Oxford, Hague went on to study for a Master of Business Administration degree at INSEAD, he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where Archie Norman was his mentor. Hague contested Wentworth unsuccessfully in 1987, before being elected to Parliament at a by-election in 1989 as Member for the safe Conservative seat of Richmond, North Yorkshire, where he succeeded former Home Secretary Leon Brittan. Following his election he became the then-youngest Conservative MP and despite having only become an MP, Hague was invited to join Government in 1990, serving as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Norman Lamont. After Lamont was sacked in 1993, Hague moved to the Department of Social Security where he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.
The following year he was promoted as Minister of State in the DSS with responsibility for Social Security and Disabled People. His fast rise up through Government was attributed to his debating skills. Hague was appointed a Cabinet Minister in 1995 as Secretary of State for Wales, he continued serving in Cabinet until the Conservatives were replaced by Labour at the 1997 general election. Following the 1997 general election defeat, Hague was elected Leader of the Conservative Party in succession to John Major, defeating more experienced figures such as Kenneth Clarke and Michael Howard. At the age of 36, Hague was tasked with rebuilding the Conservative Party by attempting to build a more modern image. £250,000 was spent on the "Listening to Britain" campaign to try to put the Conservatives back in touch with the public after losing power.
2006 Liberal Democrats leadership election
In the 2006 Liberal Democrats leadership election, Sir Menzies Campbell was elected to succeed Charles Kennedy as Leader of the Liberal Democrats, the third-largest political party in the United Kingdom. On 5 January 2006, following a period of heavy speculation about both his leadership and his personal life, party leader Charles Kennedy called for a leadership contest to allow party members to decide if his leadership should continue. On 7 January 2006, following public pressure from many prominent Liberal Democrats to stand down, including twenty-five Members of Parliament who publicly announced they would refuse to serve on the party's frontbench if he did not stand aside, Kennedy announced that he would not be standing in the leadership election, resigning as party leader with immediate effect. Four candidates declared their intention to stand: Campbell interim leader. Oaten garnered little support from colleagues and withdrew from the contest, confessing two days to a sexual relationship with a male prostitute.
Nominations for the leadership closed on 25 January 2006, Campbell was announced as the winner on 2 March 2006, having won 45 percent of the first preference votes cast. This rose to 58 percent when votes cast for third-placed Hughes were excluded and his voters' second preferences were counted. Note: if non-transferable votes are discounted, the percentage of the vote won by Campbell was 57.9% and that won by Huhne was 42.1%. Simon Hughes's second preferences split as follows: Campbell 53.2%, Huhne 40.9%, non-transferable 5.9%. In the wake of the 2005 general election, Kennedy's leadership came under increased criticism from those who felt that the Liberal Democrats could have done better at a time when, the Official Opposition, the Conservative Party, were in a weak position and the Labour Government remained unpopular in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Leadership speculation was renewed in 2005. After the election of David Cameron as Leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005, it was reported that senior members of the Liberal Democrats had told Kennedy that he must either "raise his game" or resign.
A number of issues led to the pressure on Kennedy. There was concern behind the scenes about his problems with alcohol, how he was addressing them and their effects on his performance. Kennedy's leadership style — more a chairman than a leader — was criticised. Many in the party felt Kennedy had failed to resolve debates within the party about future direction. Many of his critics came from the right wing of the party, who wished the Liberal Democrats to, as they saw it, modernise. On 13 December 2005, the BBC's Political Editor, Nick Robinson, claimed that there were briefings against the leader, with members of his party unhappy at what they saw as "lack of leadership" from Kennedy. A "Kennedy Must Go" petition was started by The Liberal magazine, a publication, not formally affiliated with the Liberal Democrats, but which espouses liberal ideas, has an editor, a Liberal Democrat activist, which prints articles by many leading Liberal Democrat MPs; this petition was signed by over 3,300 party members, including 386 local councillors and two MPs by the end of 2005, although these figures were not independently verified.
A round robin letter signed by Liberal Democrat MPs rejecting Kennedy's leadership received 23 signatures. In retrospect, much of the expressed unhappiness at Kennedy's performance as leader concerned his problems with alcohol. On 5 January 2006, Kennedy was informed that ITN would be reporting that he had received treatment for alcoholism, called a sudden news conference to make a personal statement confirming the story, he stated that over the past eighteen months he had been coming to terms with a drink problem, but has sought ongoing professional help. He told reporters that recent questions among his colleagues about his suitability as leader were as a result of the drink problem, but stated that he had been dry for the past two months and would be calling a leadership contest to resolve the issues surrounding his authority once and for all, it was claimed that the source for ITN's story was his former press secretary turned ITV News correspondent, Daisy McAndrew. Responses to Kennedy's statement focused on his previous denials of any problems with alcohol.
As as 18 December 2005, on ITV1's Jonathan Dimbleby programme, when asked, "Has it been a battle to stay off the booze, have you had to have medical support in any way at all?" Kennedy had replied, "No, no, no, not the case, it is a matter on all fronts — if there's something my doctor wants me to do over this holiday period as a matter of fact, is give up smoking and I think he's right." Following Kennedy's admission, a letter from twenty-five Liberal Democrat MPs was delivered to him on 6 January. It stated that the signatories would not serve as frontbench speakers under his leadership, gave a deadline of Monday 9 January for him to make a decision before those on the front bench resigned. Despite a combative interview in The Independent in which Kennedy described a decision to resign as a "dereliction of duty", a large number of senior Liberal Democrats stated on 6 January that his position was untenable. Chris Davies leader of Liberal Democrat Members of the European Parliament, described him as "a dead man walking".
A survey for the BBC's Newsnight programme found that more than half of Liberal Democrat MPs thought he should resign or that his position was untenable, only seventeen out of sixty-two
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to