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Tuesday, April 6, 1999 Published at 21:32 GMT 22:32 UK


CV: Dafydd Wigley

Born: 1 April 1943

Education: Caernarfon Grammar School. Rydal School, Colwyn Bay. Manchester University (BSc).

Personal: Married to Elinor Bennett, international harpist. Two surviving children - two others died in childhood.

Non-political career: Industrial economist.

Political career: Joined Plaid Cymru in 1961; elected to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council in 1971; became MP for Caernarfon in 1974, aged 30; elected president of party 1981; stood down 1984 because of his sons' terminal illness; reselected as leader unopposed 1991 and 1993; contested North Wales in 1994 Euro-Parliament elections.

Profile: Along with (Lord) Dafydd Elis Thomas became the first Plaid Cymru representative elected to Westminster at a general election. Has sat on parliamentary committees dealing with finance, copyright, industrial and company legislation.

Vice chair of Parliament's all-party disablement group. Vice-president of Disability Wales; vice-president of Mencap (Wales) and the former president of the Spastics' Society of Wales.

In my own words: "For the first time we are in a position to take on the responsibility of power. After more than 70 years of campaigning as a party, we are now ready to play a part in the government of our country."

"Wales cannot afford to have its assembly run by those who were, at best, half-hearted about its existence. It must be determined primarily by the needs of Wales and by those who give their first allegiance to Wales."

Labour would "run the assembly as if it were a branch office of Millbank [party press office]".

"It is not Plaid Cymru's objective to see ourselves as a small opposition group within the assembly. The objective of Plaid Cymru is to form a government of Wales. If Plaid Cymru is the largest party in the assembly we shall form a government."

How others see him: The voice of Welsh nationalism in the Commons for nearly 25 years. Reasonable and friendly though was once so angry about a procedural point that he banged the arm of the Speaker's chair and broke it off.

Works hard for the disabled, spastics, mentally handicapped and the blind, sponsoring the Disabled Persons Act in 1981. Two of his sons died of a rare genetic disease - has taken a strong view on the importance of embryo research.

"Dafydd Wigley is nothing more than a convenient frontman for more sinister extremists waiting in the shadows for May 7" - Tory leader in Wales, Rod Richards.

Interests: Football, tennis, swimming and chess.



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