Senedd Bites #56: Tributes to veteran Labour MP & more

(Title Image: South Wales Argus)

Tributes paid to Labour’s Paul Flynn

Tributes have been paid across the political spectrum to the veteran Labour MP for Newport West, Paul Flynn, who died on February 17th at the age of 84.

The MP was an outspoken campaigner in favour of devolution and medicinal cannabis, as well as an outspoken opponent of the Iraq War. He also published a celebrated book, How to be an MP.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford (Lab, Cardiff West), said: “He was one of the most effective communicators of his generation – inside the House of Commons and outside. But it was Paul’s willingness to speak up for causes beyond the political mainstream which marked him out as a politician of real courage and integrity.”

Jayne Bryant AM (Lab, Newport West) said: “Respected across the political divide with his wonderful turn of phrase, witty comments and incisive mind – undoubtedly, Paul spoke truth to power.”

Ex-AM “claimed thousands in expenses” after quitting

The former Assembly Member for Mid & West Wales, Simon Thomas, claimed just over £3,600 in expenses after resigning his seat, according to an investigation by the BBC’s  Wales Live programme.

Thomas resigned in July 2018 after being found in possession of child pornography and was subsequently handed a suspended jail sentence and ordered to register as a sex offender. The Senedd’s rules state any member who resigns can claim for transitional costs.

National Broadcast Archive row “settled”

Deputy Minister for Culture, Media & Sport, Dafydd Elis-Thomas (Ind, Dwyfor Meironnydd) has reportedly settled a row over funding for a National Broadcast Archive at the National Library in Aberystwyth.

The project is expected to cost £9million and the Deputy Minister previously pulled Welsh Government support over concerns surrounding the business case. He said, “I appreciate the efforts which have made been made over the last few weeks to resolve the outstanding issues and concerns, and am delighted that the project can now move forward.”

Video and audio archives from BBC Wales, ITV Wales/HTV and S4C will be included and digitised archives will be available for the public at the National Library, as well as local hubs in Carmarthen, Cardiff and Wrexham.

Ex-Tory leader wins council seat

Andrew RT Davies AM (Con, South Wales Central) has been elected as councillor for Rhoose in the Vale of Glamorgan, winning 60% of the vote. A by-election in the ward was called following the resignation of a Conservative councillor over plans to close Llancarfan Primary School.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is currently a Conservative-led authority and Labour said the AMs couldn’t be an “honest broker” in saving the school – which he has campaigned to do. He also said he has no intention of standing down from the Senedd.

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