Ex-Gwent AM becomes a lord
4:24pm Wednesday 30th June 2010 in Gwent news
A GWENT politician has swapped Cardiff Bay for Westminster after being appointed to the House of Lords.
Michael German donned his robes when he was introduced to the House of Lords and became Lord German earlier this week.
The peer will stand down as Liberal Democrat member for South Wales East today, with his wife Veronica German taking the role in the afternoon.
But Lord German, who will be a full-time working peer, said his main aim will be to “abolish himself” and bring about an elected House of Lords.
“At the moment we have an upper house that isn't responsible to the electorate, and in all major democracies the upper house has a democratic base,” he said.
He said he will keep track of Gwent issues, such as the Severn Barrage and the future of the Severn Crossings.
“I have always believed that the tolls are a tax on Wales and a tax businesses coming into Wales,” he said.
But despite the move to Westminster the former Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, who served as the deputy first minister in the Assembly coalition between his party and Labour, said he will miss the Senedd.
“I was one of the first three or four people who walked through the door, I have seen the changes, its become like a family to me," he said.
But he added it would be a “tremendous experience” to be part of the legislature when his party is part of the UK coalition.
“It’s much more exciting when your party can put in to practise what you believe in.”