Nia Griffith

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Nia Griffith
MP
Member of Parliament
for Llanelli
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Denzil Davies
Majority 4,701 (12.5%)
Personal details
Born (1956-12-04) 4 December 1956 (age 57)
Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Residence Llanelli and London
Alma mater Somerville College, Oxford
Profession Teacher
Website niagriffith.org.uk/

Nia Rhiannon Griffith (born 4 December 1956) is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Llanelli since 2005.

She is currently Shadow Minister for Wales, deputy to Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Owen Smith.[1]

Background[edit]

Griffith was born in Ireland on 4 December 1956.[2] Her family comes from mining villages near Neath, in South Wales. Her father was Professor T. Gwynfor Griffith; her mother was Dr. Rhiannon Howell. She was educated at Newland High School for Girls (now called Newland School for Girls) in Hull and Somerville College, Oxford where she graduated with a first class degree in modern languages in 1979.[3] After Oxford, she trained to be a teacher (PGCE) at the University of Wales, Bangor.

Griffith became a teacher at Queen Elizabeth Cambria School in Carmarthen then Gowerton Comprehensive School in Swansea. She was a member of the NUT. Prior to entering Parliament, she was an education adviser and an Estyn Schools Inspector (the Welsh equivalent of Ofsted) from 1992. Immediately before becoming an MP she was Head of Languages at Morriston Comprehensive School, Swansea. She speaks five languages: English, Welsh, Italian, French and Spanish and has written a book on language teaching.

Griffith was a founder member of a local Women's Aid organisation and is a member of the National Union of Teachers and Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.[4][5]

Political career[edit]

Griffith joined the Labour Party in 1981 and has held many posts of responsibility within the Labour Party, including Secretary of the Carmarthenshire County Labour Party. She was elected as a councillor to the Carmarthen Town Council in 1987, serving as the sheriff in 1997 and deputy mayor in 1998.

She was selected to contest the Welsh seat of Llanelli for Labour at the 2005 General Election following the imposition of a controversial all-women shortlist after the retirement of Denzil Davies.[6] She won the seat with a majority of 7,234 votes and remains the MP there. Griffith made her maiden speech on 19 May 2005.[7] She is a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Welsh Affairs Select Committee and European Scrutiny Committee. She also chairs the All-Party Steel and Metals Group. Griffith was PPS to Harriet Harman MP in her capacity as Minister for Women and Equality before the 2010 general election.

Griffith was re-elected in 2010 with her majority cut by 2,533 votes.[8] Since October 2010, she has been a Shadow Minister for Business Innovation and Skills.[9]

Her main political interests are tackling climate change and issues affecting industry.

Expenses[edit]

In June 2009 Griffith was named as one of the MPs who had claimed the maximum allowable amount in expenses for food. Following a review of expenses Sir Thomas Legg ordered Griffith to repay £4,099.77 in mortgage interest claims.[10] As a result of the controversy surrounding her claims Griffith vowed never to eat at the taxpayer's expense again.[11]

In June 2010 Griffith had to repay the cost of sending 71 letters having been found to have breached Parliamentary rules on using House of Commons stationery for political purposes. The Department of Resources ruled that the letters, sent out just before the general election, "sought to communicate information about the Labour Party and that its intention was to persuade constituents to vote accordingly for the sitting party member". Griffith also apologised for her actions.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Griffith is divorced, her former husband was a social worker.[3][13] She owns a house in Llanelli and a flat in London.[14] Her hobbies include music, European cinema, gardening, walking and cycling.[2][15] She owns a small holding in Carmarthenshire which receives Tir Gofal funding.[16]

Publication[edit]

  • 100 Ideas for Teaching Languages by Nia Griffith, 2005, Continuum International Publishing Group ISBN 0-8264-8549-9

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Denzil Davies
Member of Parliament for Llanelli
2005–present
Incumbent