The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives has announced the appointment of Councillor James Lusted as the Leader’s Disability Champion.
Cllr Lusted was elected as the UK’s first dwarf councillor last year. He will work to promote good practice for people with disabilities across Wales, and to encourage the participation of disabled people in public life.
The appointment reflects a commitment made Paul Davies AM during the Welsh Conservative leadership campaign.
An estimated 20% of the population are disabled, but only 1.5% of councillors are known to have a disability.
Cllr Lusted, also known as Jay, is a Trustee of Disability Sport Wales. He rose to fame following the filming of numerous BBC documentaries and an S4C series. Jay has also worked as an actor having performed in stage productions around the UK.
Speaking following the announcement, the Welsh Conservative Leader said:
“I’m delighted that James has accepted this position.
“He’s going to do a fantastic job as the Welsh Conservative’s first Disability Champion, tackling under-representation, and fighting to end the archaic and negative stereotyping of disabled people that exists in Wales.
“In his personal life he has shown what he can overcome to achieve the incredible success that he has, and that passion and drive has continued with his representation of the people of Conwy. I look forward to working with him to continue that work.”
The new Welsh Conservative Disability Champion - Mr Lusted - added:
“It’s an honour for me to take on this role.
“When I was first elected as councillor, I was determined to use my voice for the benefit of people with disabilities throughout my ward – that voice has now been amplified onto a national scale.
"This is a positive move for the Party, and I'm looking forward to starting this important work alongside our leader, Paul Davies".