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WALES: WHAT WOULD THE WELSH WIZARD MAKE OF IT ALL? Tribute to Lloyd George unveiled... as his old school faces closure.

Byline: By SAM LISTER Parliamentary Correspondent

POLITICIANS launched a campaign to save the primary school in the village of legendary Welsh Prime Minister David Lloyd George as a statue was erected in his honour.

Nicknamed the Welsh Wizard, he is the country's only MP to make it to Number 10 and is regarded as one of the great reformers.

Yesterday a monument of the Liberal leader was unveiled in Parliament Square, Westminster.

Welsh Lib Dems tabled an Early Day Motion to use the ceremony to highlight the closure of the Llanystumdwy Village School and 28 other primaries in Gwynedd.

Roger Williams, Lib Dem Welsh spokesman, who tabled the motion, said: "David Lloyd George embodied the values of Welsh Liberalism, and, in his time as Chancellor and Prime Minister, was a great crusader against social injustice.

"The pioneer of the welfare state, he was responsible for introducing the old age pension, unemployment benefit and state help for the unwell and infirm and was an impressive wartime leader.

"As we celebrate his work and achievements it is sad to hear the news that the Plaid council in Gwynedd have announced that the school in Llanystumdwy, David Lloyd George's village, faces possible closure.

"I hope Gwynedd Council will reconsider this proposed closure and come forward with alternative plans, and I have tabled an Early Day Motion to Parliament to make this point."

But the statue has come under fire. It was condemned by playwright Harold Pinter, campaigning journalist John Pilger and former UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq Denis Halliday, in a letter in yesterday's Daily Telegraph.

Commenting on his time as Prime Minister, the three men wrote: "During this period Britain used planes to bomb a place called Mashud, on India's border with Afghanistan, Dacca, Jalalabad and Kabul, Egypt, Enzeli in Iran, Trans-Jordan and, of course, Iraq.

"Today, these vicious policies continue unabated."



Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall (above) leave the ceremony after he unveiled the statue to Lloyd George in Westminster
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 26, 2007
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