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"His politics remained rooted in the traditions of Welsh non-conformity"
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"As Secretary of State for Wales he faced protests and even death threats"
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Thursday, 22 February, 2001, 19:17 GMT
'Visionary' Lord Cledwyn tributes
Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos
Lord Cledwyn remembered as "a shrewd and affable MP"
Veteran Welsh Labour politician Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos has died at the age of 84.

An MP for Anglesey for 28 years until retiring in 1979, Cledwyn Hughes served as Secretary of State for Wales in the 1966 - the year of the Aberfan disaster - having succeeded James Griffiths.

He had a vision, that indefinable quality of being years ahead of his time. That vision was realised with the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales

First Minister Rhodri Morgan

"Cledwyn Hughes will be remembered as one of the most distinguished Welshmen of the second half of the twentieth century, " said Welsh Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

"He had a vision, that indefinable quality of being years ahead of his time. That vision was realised with the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales.

"I am glad he lived long enough to see the Assembly up and running and working for Wales."

Glenys Kinnock MEP who had known Lord Cledwyn since she was a small girl living on Anglesey, described him as a man of "enormous integrity" and said "his loyalty and love for Labour was never in question".

Conservative Party spokesman for Wales Nigel Evans MP said: "He loved Wales and fought hard to promote Wales at every opportunity within the Labour Party and in Parliament.

Glenys Kinnock MEP
Glenys Kinnock: "A man of integrity."

"He was one of these rare politicians who has been active throughout his entire political career spanning over 50 yeas. Welsh politics will be the poorer for his passing."

Lord Cledwyn - who served as leader of the opposition in the House of Lords for a decade during the Thatcher years - said he had been "deeply moved" by the generosity of Cardiff.

Remembered as a a "shrewd and affable politician", he supported devolution at the 1979 referendum and often encountered hostility from fellow party members.

He was born in Holyhead, Anglesey, on 14 September 1916, the son of Reverend David Hughes.

Educated at Holyhead Grammar School, he went on to graduate from the University College of Wales before embarking on a career as a solicitor.

Life peer

He practised law in Anglesey from 1946, having served in the RAF during the war.

Five years later in 1951, he was elected MP for Anglesey.

Shortly before the 1979 general election, Hughes announced he would not be fighting a Commons seat again. He was made a life peer the following year.

A new chapter had opened on a distinguished career which had seen him become Welsh Secretary in 1966 as well as minister for commonwealth relations, as agriculture minister and was chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party from 1974 until 1979.

Married with two children, Lord Cledwyn, a Welsh speaker, was a keen supporter of eisteddfodau and had been an active sportsman.

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