With nominations now closed for the General Election on July 4, and the atmosphere of politics across the UK and at the Senedd becoming increasingly febrile, one of the candidates in the Monmouthshire Constituency has issued an appeal for calm and reasoned debate, as urged by the Jo Cox Foundation.

Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate, William Powell, has given his backing to the Jo Cox Foundation 'Civility Pledge' in his campaign for Monmouthshire - and has urged his rivals to do the same.

Mr Powell commented:  'In recent years, notably since the advent of Brexit, Donald Trump and with increasing levels of political interference from Vladimir Putin and other foreign actors, our politics have become increasingly embittered.'

'This relates not only to social media and campaign literature, but also to the shrill tone of voice often heard and the implied violence and intimidation in  what passes for political debate.' 

On two occasions in the last eight years this "hate speak' had spilt over into lethal violence, with the cold blooded murder of former Labour MP, Jo Cox at the hands of a right wing extremist, and the assassination of Conservative MP, Sir David Amess, by an Islamist terrorist.

William Powell has signed the 3 point pledge, promoted by the Jo Cox Foundation, established in memory of the Labour MP, following her murder in 2016. He has also written to fellow candidates, urging them also to sign the Civility Pledge to show that disagreements can be handled without resorting to abuse. This modelling of good behaviour by elected politicians is one of the key recommendations from the Jo Cox Civility Commission. By debating with civility and respecting the views of others, the Jo Cox Foundation believes that a more positive and constructive political climate is possible.

'I knew Jo Cox, then Jo Leadbetter and met Sir David Amess. Their violent deaths are a stark reminder that we need to listen to and hear our opponents and, at all costs, we need to dial down the rhetoric, and cut out talk of "scalps" and "decapitation". Only by doing that - and by learning to "disagree well" - can we mend our broken system and restore trust and hope in politics."