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Wednesday, September 1, 1999 Published at 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK


UK: Wales: AMs

Rhodri Thomas

Plaid Cymru

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Constituency

Shadow Assembly Secretary for Agriculture and the Rural Economy
Personal Details
Date of Birth -
April 11, 1953.
Place of Birth - Wrexham.
Married - September 20, 1975 (2 sons 1 daughter).

Education
Ysgol Morgan Llwyd, Wrexham.
University of Wales, Aberystwyth (BA Welsh).
University of Wales, Bangor (BD Theology).
University of Wales, Lampeter (MTh American Theology).

Previous Occupation(s)
Minister of Religion, St Clears 1978-.
Managing Director, Cwmn'r Ganncwyl Cyf 1989-94.
Welsh Spokesman, Forum of Private Business 1993-.
Director, Syript Cyf 1994- .

Political Career
Councillor, Llangunin Community Council 1992-, Council Chairman 1996-97.
Contested Carmarthen 1992 General Election and Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 1997 General Election. AM for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency since May 6, 1999.
Shadow Assembly Secretary for Agriculture and the Rural Economy 1999-2000.



The Welsh-speaking minister of religion and director of a language consultancy sits on the European Affairs committee, and the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the Assembly.

He is Plaidís agriculture spokesman and sits in the PC cabinet. He combines pacifism with business acumen. He has pressed for the lifting of the ban on beef-on-the-bone, and for more cash for Welsh farmers.

The former chairman of CND Cymru has contested the Carmarthen and Carmarthen East seats at previous general elections. In 1997 he came a close second to Labour, scoring a swing against the sitting member, despite the national Labour landslide. In the Assembly election on a high turnout he went well ahead of Labour's candidate. It is a volatile seat, and combines rural farming areas with traditional mining communities. A majority speak Welsh.

His election, combined with a groundswell of Plaid support elsewhere, has great significance for Plaid, as the area Mr Thomas represents was where the nationalists scored their first-ever Westminster election success when Gwynfor Evans took the seat in 1966. His victory also helped Alun Michael win a top-up seat.

He has degrees in theology and Welsh. He was a minister for seven years, and then ran a TV production company. He is Welsh spokesman for the Forum of Private Business, and a Director of Script Cyf (language consultants). He has also been involved with the NSPCC, and been a community councillor and chairman of school governors.

He is interested in sports and has run a marathon for the NSPCC.


Welsh Assembly Election of May 6, 1999
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Constituency
Thomas, R. (PC) 17,328 53.07%
Llewelyn, C. (Lab) 10,348 31.69%
Stoddart, H. (Con) 2,776 8.50%
Hughes, J. (LD) 2,202 6.74%

Majority
6,980






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