David Melding AM has announced that he will not be contesting the 2021 Senedd election.
The Conservative AM has represented the South Wales Central region since the first Welsh Assembly was formed in May 1999.
He served as the Deputy Presiding Officer between 2011 and 2016.
He is one of only five AMs, alongside Elin Jones, Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Kirsty Williams and Carwyn Jones, to have remained an AM since 1999.
Paul Davies AM, Leader of the Welsh Conservative Assembly Group, paid tribute to his colleague.
“It is difficult to overstate the incredible contribution David has made to the political landscape of recent years in Wales, and to the success of devolution – and of the Welsh Conservatives in the Assembly, including writing manifestos for the 2003, 2007, and 2011 elections,” he said.
“In his 21 years – from the very first term – as an Assembly Member, he has brought an academic’s insight, tact, reasoned argument, and wit to life and work in the Senedd, and beyond.
“David’s proposals on the Wales’ housing crisis and to end rough sleeping in Wales will be at the forefront of the Welsh Conservative manifesto for 2021; this is testament to his unwavering belief in standing up for all in our society.
“He is irreplaceable, and – I say this without fear of contradiction – one of the champions of Welsh democracy and devolution.
“I am sure that Members across all parties will join me in thanking him for his work.
“He will be missed, and although I am sad not to have David on my team following the 2021 election, I am delighted that David will be further developing the Gorwel think-tank.
“He will continue to inspire students and those involved in politics to think more widely about the impact of policies, and his influence and legacy will be felt in the years to come.”