Assembly powers campaign can 'unite Wales'


The new chair of the campaign for a Yes vote in the assembly powers referendum has called for a "people's campaign".

Roger Lewis, group chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), said it was an opportunity to unite Wales before the 3 March vote.

He said he wanted a "people's campaign, not a politicians' campaign".

But No campaigners accused their opponents of using celebrities to attract votes.

The no campaign True Wales said the appointment showed the political class was "out of touch with the people".

"We want the people of Wales to unite behind the simple principle that laws that only affect Wales should be made in Wales," said Mr Lewis.

Mr Lewis, 56, was formerly managing director of ITV Wales and was appointed to the WRU role in September 2006.

As the Yes campaign appointment was announced he said: "I'm proud to have been asked to chair the all-party campaign to secure a stronger voice for Wales.

"This referendum is a chance to unite our country and I will be working with all the political parties and people from all walks of life, particularly people who have never been involved in political activity, to get behind a Yes vote on March 3rd."

Speaking at an event to launch the Yes campaign website with children from Barry Island Primary School, Mr Lewis said: "We will only win if we have volunteers in every town and village making the case for a Yes vote."

Nigel Bull of True Wales, which is opposing a referendum Yes vote, responded: "It's no surprise that the elitist Yes campaign has chosen Roger Lewis, who is reputed to be extremely wealthy, to be its chair.

"This will do nothing to alter the impression that bay politicians are seeking more power for themselves to feather their own nests rather than to reach out to the real people of Wales.

"Is this the first wealthy celebrity that they'll be wheeling out? The political class continues to show that it is utterly out of touch with the people."

In the 1980s, Lewis, from Cefn Cribwr near Bridgend, worked as a producer at Capital Radio and then became head of music at BBC Radio One.

Before taking his post with at ITV Wales, he was managing director and programme controller of Classic FM and a main board director of its parent company, GWR group plc for six years.

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