Ann Clwyd


Ann Clwyd was re-elected MP for Cynon Valley on May 7th 2015 with 14532 votes, taking 47.7% of the vote.

She is the daughter of Gwilym and Elizabeth Lewis. She lived in Pentre Halkyn in Flintshire and went to the Holywell Grammar School (now Holywell High School), then the independent Queen's School in Chester. She studied at the University College of Wales in Bangor. Although a Labour Party member as an adult, as a pupil, Clwyd once won a mock election as a Plaid Cymru supporter in her school. She was a student teacher at Hope School in Flintshire. She worked as a journalist, working for the BBC as a studio manager and then became Welsh correspondent for the Guardian and Observer newspapers for 1964-79. She was Vice-Chair of the Arts Council of Wales from 1975-9.

She was the unsuccessful Labour candidate in Denbigh in 1970 and Gloucester in October 1974. From 1979 to 1984, Ann Clwyd was MEP for Mid and West Wales. She was elected to Parliament in a byelection following the death of Ioan Evans and became the first woman to sit for a Welsh valleys constituency. She served as Shadow Minister of Education and Women's Rights from 1987 but was sacked in 1988 for rebelling against the party whip on further spending on nuclear weapons. She returned as Shadow Secretary of State for Overseas Development from 1989 to 1992 and then served as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales in 1992 and for National Heritage from 1992 to 1993.

She was the Opposition Spokesperson for Employment from 1993 to 1994 and for Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1995 when she was again sacked, along with Jim Cousins, for observing the Turkish invasion of Iraqi Kirkuk without permission. In 1994 she staged a sit-in down Tower Colliery mine in her constituency to protest at its closure.

She was a member of the International Development Select Committee from 1997 to 2005. Having been prominent in her concern for the situation in Iraq before the war there in 2003, Tony Blair made her a Special Envoy on Human Rights in Iraq in the run-up to the War. She was the first journalist to put forward claims that some Iraqis were killed in woodchippers. On 9 August 2004, she became a member of the Privy Council.

Clwyd was a Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party from 2001 until 2005, and was elected as Chair by 167 to 156 (beating Tony Lloyd) on 24 May 2005. However on 5 December 2006 she was defeated by Lloyd by 11 votes when she sought re-election, with her closeness to Tony Blair being cited as a reason for her defeat.

She is currently Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group and the All Party Parliamentary Iraq Group. She is Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coalfield Communities, and Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cambodia. She is a former Chair of the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an Executive Member on the (IPU) Committee on Middle East Questions and an Executive Member on the (IPU) Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians. She has been appointed by the Prime Minister as a Member of the British Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council for Europe

She was admitted to the White Robe of the Gorsedd of Bards at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 1991; is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Bangor, and the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education which awarded her a University of Wales honorary degree. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Trinity College, Carmarthen for her contribution to politics and as a human rights campaigner.

She was a Member of the Arts Council 1975-79, the Vice Chair of the Welsh Arts Council 1975-97. She was on the Royal Commission on the NHS 1976-79


Cynon Valley



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Date of Birth

21 March 1937




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