Dafydd Elis-Thomas

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Elis-Thomas
Dafydd Elis-Thomas 2011.jpg
Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales
In office
12 May 1999 – 11 May 2011
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by New post
Succeeded by Rosemary Butler
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (1999–2007)
Assumed office
6 May 1999
Preceded by New Assembly
Majority 8,868 (40.1%)
Member of Parliament
for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy
Meirionnydd (Feb. 1974–1983)
In office
28 February 1974 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by William Edwards
Succeeded by Elfyn Llwyd
Personal details
Born Dafydd Elis Thomas
(1946-10-18) 18 October 1946 (age 70)
Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Political party Independent
Other political
Plaid Cymru (before 1970–2016)
Spouse(s) Elen M. Williams
Mair Parry Jones (present)
Children 3

Dafydd Elis-Thomas,[1] Baron Elis-Thomas, PC (born 18 October 1946) is a Welsh politician, representing the Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency in the National Assembly for Wales. Born in Carmarthen, Wales, he was raised in Ceredigion and the Conwy Valley. He represented Merioneth, then Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituencies as Member of Parliament from 1974 to 1992. and was the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales from its inception in 1999 to 2011. He is a member of the House of Lords, a former leader of Plaid Cymru, and, since 2004, a privy counsellor. On 14 October 2016 he left the party in order to support the Welsh Government and now sits as an independent in the Welsh Assembly.


Thomas was born on 18 October 1946 at Priory Hospital, Carmarthen, and brought up in the Llandysul area of Ceredigion, and in Llanrwst in the Conwy Valley.[2][3] In 1970, he married Elen Williams and had three sons. They later divorced. From the mid-1980s until 1992 his partner was Marjorie Thompson, the chairwoman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). In 1993, he married Mair Parry Jones. He lives in Llandaff, Cardiff (when working at the National Assembly) and Betws-y-Coed (in the Aberconwy constituency, but prior to boundary changes in his constituency).[citation needed]

Professional career[edit]

He was the chairman of the Welsh Language Board between 1994 and 1999, and is a former member of the Arts Council of Wales and the British Film Institute where he was Chairman of Screen between 1992 and 1999. He was also a director and vice-chairman of Cynefin Environmental Ltd. between 1992 and 1999. A former university lecturer, he has also been the president of Bangor University since 2000, as well as currently being a member of the governing body of the Church in Wales.

Political career[edit]

UK Parliament[edit]

Having come third at Conwy in 1970, Thomas served as Member of Parliament for the Meirionnydd constituency between 1974 and 1983, initially as the "Baby of the House", and the Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituency from 1983 to 1992.[2][3]

He was made a life peer in 1992, and changed his surname from Thomas to Elis-Thomas by deed poll, enabling him to take the title Baron Elis-Thomas, of Nant Conwy in the County of Gwynedd.[1] He sat as a crossbench peer because at that time he had taken on the non-political role of chair of the Welsh Language Board;[4] in 2012 he took the Plaid Cymru whip in the Lords.

In 2012, Lord Elis-Thomas attracted criticism from the pressure group Fix Parliament as the most expensive peer in the House of Lords per vote, having voted only once in 2011 yet having claimed £15,488.70 in expenses in the same year.

National Assembly for Wales[edit]

Elis-Thomas was elected to the newly established National Assembly for Wales in 1999, representing the Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituency until the 2007 election, and then the Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency.[2] He also held the position of Presiding Officer since the Assembly's inception in 1999 until 2011.[2] Elis-Thomas was Plaid Cymru's spokesperson for Environment, Energy and Planning from 2011, transferring to Rural Affairs, Fisheries and Food in 2012.[2]

Elis-Thomas is Honorary President of the anti-fascist organisation Searchlight Cymru.[3]

In October 2016 he left Plaid Cymru, but remained in the Assembly as an Independent member.[5]

"Mrs Windsor" incident[edit]

In December 2004 Lord Elis-Thomas asked Leanne Wood to leave the chamber for referring to the Queen as "Mrs Windsor" during a debate.[6] Wood was the first assembly member to be ordered out of the chamber on those grounds.

Offices held[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Edwards
Member of Parliament for Meirionnydd
Constituency renamed
New constituency Member of Parliament for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy
Succeeded by
Elfyn Llwyd
Preceded by
Bernadette Devlin
Baby of the House
Succeeded by
Helene Hayman
National Assembly for Wales
New constituency Assembly Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy
Constituency abolished
New constituency Assembly Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Preceded by
Position Created
Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales
Succeeded by
Rosemary Butler
First Assembly Commission
2007 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Phil Williams
Vice-President of Plaid Cymru
Succeeded by
Phil Williams
Preceded by
Dafydd Wigley
President of Plaid Cymru
Succeeded by
Dafydd Wigley
Academic offices
Preceded by
Cledwyn Hughes
President of Bangor University
Succeeded by


  1. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 53056. p. 15921. 23 September 1992.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM". BBC Democracy Live website. BBC. 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM". Plaid Cymru website. Plaid Cymru. 2013. Archived from the original on 10 January 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/lord-dafydd-elis-thomas-hits-out-2669223
  5. ^ "Plaid Cymru AM Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas quits party". BBC News. 14 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Leanne Wood expelled from chamber". BBC News Democracy Live website. BBC. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 

External links[edit]