Dafydd Elis-Thomas, who has represented Meirionnydd almost continiously as an MP and later Assembly Member since the 1970s, has decided that he will not stand again at next year’s Senedd election.
The current Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism stood as a Plaid Cymru member at elections but left the party soon after his re-election in 2016 in order to join the current Labour Government.
He told Radio Cymru this morning that after a period of reflection during this time, he has realised that there are other ways to serve society.
“I have seen the value during this period of working in a different way. There’s more to being a good citizen than being an elected politician for more than 40 years,” he said.
“And since I have reached that period of representing Meirionnydd at least for 40 years, it wouldn’t make sense for me to stand in an election knowing that I would be 78 by the end of the next assembly term.”
Mabon ap Gwynfor is the candidate chosen by Plaid Cymru to challenge for the seat.
Mabon ap Gwynfor said: “Next year’s election in Dwyfor Meirionnydd will be very different without Dafydd as a candidate.
“However, as Plaid Cymru’s candidate I look forward to campaigning with the party members and discussing issues that concern the good people of Dwyfor Meirionnydd, and fighting to ensure that Plaid Cymru retain this seat, and take these values back to the Senedd.”
Responding to the news, Dwynfor-Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville-Roberts tweeted: “I’m thankful to Dafydd Elis-Thomas for his service while representing the communities of Dwyfor, Meirionnydd and Nant Conwy as an Assembly Member and Member of Parliament.”
Dafydd Elis-Thomas was elected the Member of Parliament for the Merioneth constituency between 1974 and 1983, and the Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituency from 1983 to 1992. He was leader of Plaid Cymru between 1984–1991 and became Plaid Cymru’r first member of the House of Lords in 1992.
He was then elected to the Welsh Assembly in 1999, representing the Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituency until the 2007 election, and then the Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency. He held the position of Presiding Officer from the Assembly’s inception in 1999 until 2011.
He left Plaid Cymru in October 2016, but remained an Independent member and in November 2017 was appointed as Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport.
He also served as President of Bangor University between 2000 and 2017.