Devolution campaigner Lord Elystan Morgan passes away aged 88
The pro-devolution campaigner Lord Elystan Morgan has passed away at the age of 88.
The former Labour MP, who was also a candidate for Plaid Cymru at four general elections, led the campaign for devolution in 1979.
He died peacefully in his sleep with his family at his side on Wednesday morning.
The First Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “My thoughts are today with Lord Elystan-Morgan’s family following the sad news of his death – a fierce and dedicated campaigner for devolution, who’s tireless work laid the foundations for the Senedd we have today.”
Plaid Cymru MP Ben Lake also paid tribute.
“Ceredigion has today lost one of her brightest sons. Lord Elystan Morgan was a rare figure in the political world: a statesman of intellect and integrity,” he said.
“He always made his case with an eloquence founded on an unshakeable belief in its merits, and a masterful understanding of the detail.
“His capacity for kindness and good humour, even during the most divisive and heated political debates, is something to which we should all aspire.
“On behalf of Plaid Cymru, we send our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
BBC Broadcaster Huw Edwards was among those paying tribute to him:
Cymro balch, datganolwr cadarn, a gwleidydd abl. Colled i Gymru ar ei ôl. 🏴 Lord Elystan-Morgan made an immense contribution to public life in Wales. A great loss. Diolch amdano. 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/GY3NwLclVD
— Huw Edwards (@huwbbc) July 7, 2021
Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigely had previously said without his campaign for devolution in the 1970, there would be no Senedd today.
Lord Morgan was elected Labour MP for Cardiganshire, which is now known as Ceredigion, in the 1966 general election and held on to the seat in 1970.
He was given a seat on the House of Lords in 1981, from which he retired in 2020.
The former barrister and a judge, served as president of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth between 1997 and 2007.
As a solicitor, he defended David Walters and David Pritchard, who had tried to stop Tryweryn valley being flooded by Liverpool City Corporation to create a reservoir. They damaged equipment on the site and both received a £50 fine.
He stood to be an MP in the Wrexham by-election in 1955, as well as in general election two months later, and for a third time in the 1959 general election.
He stood as a Plaid Cymru candidate for the last time in in Meirionnydd in 1964, and left the party for Labour the following year.
In his memoir, he said he’d joined Plaid because he thought it could win “the sort of majority support in Wales that forced the government of the day… to allow a parliament for the nation.
“By the middle of the ’60s it seemed totally obvious that this wouldn’t happen in our days.”
He added: “It was within Labour therefore that the greatest work was to be done.”