[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Assembly tributes to rebel Law
Peter Law
Peter Law left Labour to win Blaenau Gwent as an Independent
Tributes to the late MP and AM Peter Law have been paid in a special session at the Welsh assembly.

Mr Law died a week ago aged 58 after suffering from a brain tumour.

He left Labour over the imposition of all-women candidates' shortlists and won Blaenau Gwent as an Independent at the last general election.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said there had been an "unbreakable bond" between Mr Law and the people of Blaenau Gwent during his 36 years of public service.

Mr Law, who was already the Blaenau Gwent AM, overturned a 19,000 Labour majority to be elected its Independent MP last May.

He was a man of his own community dedicated to speaking up for that community
Mike German AM

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour shortly before the election, but following treatment decided to stay in the contest, which he won with a majority of more than 9,000.

Mr Law died at home last Tuesday. His funeral takes place in Ebbw Vale on Thursday.

At the Welsh assembly's Senedd on Tuesday, normal business was suspended as Mr Law was remembered as an "honest politician" by Deputy Presiding Officer, John Marek, who led the tributes.

Despite his own illness, Mr Law had attended the funeral of Dr Marek's wife Anne in Wrexham in March, he recalled.

Peter Law in Blaenau Gwent
Peter Law was described as 'a man of his own community'

"It sums up his courage and loyalty that, no matter how ill he was, he insisted on being at the funeral," Dr Marek said.

He described Mr Law as a "fighter" for his constituency adding: "All Wales will be the poorer for his passing."

Rhodri Morgan said Mr Law considered it a privilege to serve Blaenau Gwent, the one time constituency of NHS founder Aneurin Bevan.

Mr Morgan called Blaenau Gwent "the birthplace of the industrial revolution and the cradle of the National Health Service".

Referring to the "unbreakable bond" between Mr Law and the people of Blaenau Gwent over 36 years, Mr Morgan said: "He was, I think we would all agree, a glutton for public service."

'Raw courage'

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "When Peter spoke in this chamber he spoke with passion and commitment.

"And I think the thing that came through was how devoted he was to his constituency and how determined he was to fight for the interests of Blaenau Gwent at every opportunity."

Conservatives assembly leader, Nick Bourne, said Peter Law "detested unfairness but liked people who did their best".

He added: "Above all else we will remember the passion, the commitment, the raw courage which drove him through his illness."

Mike German, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Welsh assembly, said Mr Law was "a man of conviction".

He told AMs: "His success in Blaenau Gwent came about largely because people knew him so well.

"He was a man of his own community dedicated to speaking up for that community."


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific