Former Assembly Member, Laura Anne Jones, will be returning to the Welsh Parliament next week following the death of former Member of the Welsh Parliament for South Wales East, Mohammad Asghar.
Laura Anne Jones served the South Wales East region in the Senedd between 2003 and 2007 and has spent the last 13 years raising a family and setting up her own business in Monmouthshire, she said.
Currently a Monmouthshire County Councillor, Laura Anne Jones served as Vice-Chair of the Children and Young People Select Committee and the Council’s Armed Forces Champion.
Laura said she takes an interest in the challenges facing families, vulnerable children and grassroots sports.
“Although this is an exciting opportunity, I am immensely saddened to be taking up this role following the sudden loss of my Welsh Conservative colleague and friend Mohammad Asghar – or Oscar as many of us knew him,” she said.
“Oscar’s dedicated public service and his work to foster community relations is something that was an example to us all and I look forward to carrying on his good work.
“With less than a year to go until the next Welsh Parliament elections, I am looking forward to working hard to serve my constituents and hold this failing Welsh Labour-led Government to account; they have held Wales back for long enough.”
Paul Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament welcomed Laura Anne Jones’ return.
“While we have been sad to lose our much-loved colleague Mohammad Asghar the Welsh Conservatives are delighted to be welcoming Laura back to the Senedd,” he said.
“No one can replace our colleague Oscar, but I know that Laura will be just as dedicated to serving the people of South Wales East and bring a wealth of experience to her new role.”
Mohammad Asghar, the first ethnic minority and Muslim member of the Senedd, died on 16th June at the age of 74.
Asghar came to prominence after being elected to the Senedd in 2007 as a member of Plaid Cymru on the list for South Wales East, before moving to the Conservative party – the first member to ever switch parties.
Born in Peshawar in what is now Pakistan in 1945, Mr Asghar moved to Wales to complete an accountancy course in Newport. In 2004 he was elected to the city’s council, becoming Wales’ first Muslim councillor.