Brynle Williams

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Brynle Williams
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for North Wales
In office
1 May 2003 – 1 April 2011
Preceded by Peter Rogers
Succeeded by Antoinette Sandbach
Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs
In office
11 July 2007 – 1 April 2011
Leader Nick Bourne
Preceded by Elin Jones
Succeeded by Antoinette Sandbach
Personal details
Born (1949-01-09)9 January 1949
Died 1 April 2011(2011-04-01) (aged 62)
Resting place Cilcain, Mold
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Mary Williams

Brynle Williams (9 January 1949 – 1 April 2011) was a North Wales Assembly Member (AM) for the Welsh Conservative Party in the National Assembly for Wales. Elected from the North Wales Regional list, he was Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs from 2007 to 2011. Williams, who was a farmer from North Wales, was a colourful political figure who was respected for his straight talking and campaigning on rural issues; although privately he admitted he never saw himself as a politician.[1]

Williams rise to prominence began in 1997–98 when he joined protesters blockading the Port of Holyhead on Anglesey over the importation of Irish beef.[2] He later became a leader in the UK fuel protests in 2000.[3]

Political career[edit]

Williams was first elected to the Welsh Assembly on 1 May 2003 and was re-elected in 2007; serving until his death in 2011. He was Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs from 14 July 2007 and sat on the Sustainability,[4] Rural Development,[5] and Standards committees.[6]

Williams had also been the Conservative spokesman for Environment, Planning and Countryside and Local Government in the Second Assembly (2003–07), during which time he was Chair of the North Wales Regional Committee. During his time in the assembly he carved out a role as a champion of farming and rural affairs.

Following the news of his death, First Minister and Welsh Labour leader, Carwyn Jones described Williams as a "colourful" but "tough battler". Welsh Conservative leader Nick Bourne said he was "immensely popular" across all parties and UK Prime Minister David Cameron called him a "straight talker and a great loss to the assembly and to Wales".[7]

Personal life[edit]

Williams, who was born and raised in Cilcain, Flintshire, began work in the agricultural industry aged 15. As well as being a sheep and cattle farmer, he was also a renowned expert and international judge of Welsh cobs (ponies).[8]

For more than 20 years, Williams was a member of the Livestock Committee of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society that organises the Royal Welsh Show[9] In 2010, he realised a lifetime ambition when he was given the honour of judging the supreme champion at the RWS.[8] In total he missed only six Royal Welsh shows in 45 years.

Williams was also Chairman of Flintshire County Farmers Union of Wales for eight years, a lifetime member of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society[10] and President of the Denbighshire and Flintshire Agricultural Society.[8]

He was married and had a son and daughter.[7]

Illness and death[edit]

Williams was diagnosed with colon cancer in the summer of 2010.[11] He died in April 2011 after an eight-month battle with the disease.[1]

In May 2012, an inquest into Williams' death heard that misdiagnosis of the cancer resulted in a five-month delay in its treatment. Williams was initially told by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board that he had an ulcerative colitis in April 2010, five months before the colon cancer was correctly identified. The coroner concluded that the delay may have allowed him to "live longer but not necessarily have been cured". The case is now subject to a legal action by the Williams family.[12]


Since 2011 the Brynle Williams Memorial Award has been presented at the Royal Welsh Show by the Welsh Government's Department for Agriculture. It recognises the achievements of young farmers who received support from the Welsh Government's Young Farmers Entrant Support Scheme. The award was established in honour of Williams' contribution to Welsh agriculture as both an AM and an active farmer.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Tributes as Brynle Williams dies aged 62". Daily Post. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Food Standards: Protesting beef farmers send cheap Irish imports packing to a watery grave". The Independent. 2 December 1997. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Welsh farmer behind the protest". BBC. 14 September 2000. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  7. ^ a b "Brynle Williams' funeral held in Cilcain, near Mold". BBC. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c "Obituary: Brynle Williams". BBC. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "2012 Royal Welsh Show honours Williams with BRYNLE WILLIAMS ANNUAL AWARD – WELSH PONY (COB TYPE)" (PDF). The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Society loses two eminent Members". Welsh Pony & Cob Society. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Flintshire AM Brynle Williams battling cancer". Flintshire Chronicle. 29 December 2010 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ "Brynle Williams: Inquest hears of delayed cancer diagnosis". BBC NEWS. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Brynle Williams Memorial Award". Wales YFC. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

National Assembly for Wales
Preceded by
Peter Rogers
Assembly Member for North Wales
Succeeded by
Antoinette Sandbach
Political offices
Preceded by
Elin Jones
Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs
Succeeded by
Antoinette Sandbach