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

UK: Wales: AMs

Dafydd Elis-Thomas

Plaid Cymru

Meirionnydd Nant Conwy Constituency

Presiding Officer (The Speaker)
Personal Details
Date of Birth -
October 18, 1946.
Married - 1st, 1970, Elen M. Williams (3 sons) (marriage dissolved), married 2nd, December 29, 1993, Mair Parry Jones.

Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy.
University College of Wales (PhD).

Previous Occupation(s)
Tutor in Welsh Studies, Coleg Harlech 1971-74.
Has subsequently taught at:
The University College of North Wales, Bangor
The Open University.
Has been a broadcaster on BBC Wales, HTV, S4C, Radio Wales.
Consultant to:
The Welsh Development Agency
The Rural Initiative Programme
The Assembly of European Regions
The Government of Catalonia.
Chairman, Screen Wales.
Director and Deputy Chairman, Cynefin Environmental.
Director and Chairman, New Media Agency.
Oriel Mostyn
National Botanical Gardens
MFM Marcher.

Political Career
MP (Plaid Cymru) for Meirionnydd 1974-83 and Meirionnydd Nant Conwy 1974-92.
AM for the Constituency of Meirionnydd Nant Conwy since May 6, 1999.
Presiding Officer (The Speaker) 1999-.

After being elected to the Meirionnydd Nant Conwy seat with a majority of 8,700, Plaid Cymru's only peer was subsequently chosen unopposed for the role of Llywydd - the Assembly's Presiding Officer - at the first meeting of the new body. (Plaid did not oppose the election of Alun Michael as First Secretary). He has adopted a less pompous, unstuffy form of procedure than that in the Commons.

His seat, which covers Snowdonia, is most rural, thinly populated, and has a majority of Welsh speakers. The Gwynedd local authority is in PC control.

The former college lecturer and broadcaster is one of Plaid's most experienced politicians, having been for 18 years the Westminster MP for the seat he now represents at the Assembly, and having been president of the party for seven years.

For five years, since his elevation to the peerage, he served as the chairman of the Welsh Language Board, where he has overseen the introduction of legislation making Welsh one of the two official languages of public life in Wales.

During the period when Alun Michael was being ousted from his role as First Secretary, Lord Elis-Thomas came in for strong criticism in Labour quarters, not least from Mr Michael himself. He was accused of being partial in his role as Llywydd and of helping facilitate Mr Michael's removal.

His attempts to make his department more independent from the Assembly's administation have also come in for criticism.

Likes hillwalking, camping and pop music

Welsh Assembly Election of May 6, 1999
Meirionnydd Nant Conwy Constituency
Elis-Thomas, D. (PC) 12,034 63.76%
Jones, D. (Lab) 3,292 17.44%
Williams, O. (Con) 2,170 11.50%
Worley, G. (LD) 1,378 7.30%


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