Hywel Williams

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Hywel Williams
Official portrait of Hywel Williams MP crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2020
Member of Parliament
for Arfon
Caernarfon (2001–2010)
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded byDafydd Wigley
Majority2,781 (9.6%)
Leader of Plaid Cymru in the House of Commons
In office
10 September 2015 – 14 June 2017
LeaderLeanne Wood
Preceded byJonathan Edwards
Succeeded byLiz Saville Roberts
Personal details
Hywel Williams

1953 (age 69–70)
Pwllheli, Gwynedd, Wales
Political partyPlaid Cymru
Alma materUniversity College of South Wales and Monmouthshire (now Cardiff University)

Hywel Williams (born 1953)[1] is a Welsh Plaid Cymru politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Arfon, previously Caernarfon, since 2001. He announced his intention to retire in 2022.

Early life[edit]

Williams was born in Pwllheli in 1953,[1] and received his education at Ysgol Troed yr Allt, Pwllheli Grammar School and then Ysgol Glan y Môr.[2]

He studied Psychology at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire (now Cardiff University) before qualifying as a social worker at University College of North Wales (now Bangor University) in 1977/78. He was a mental health social worker in the Dwyfor area before joining the Centre for Social Work Practice at the University of Wales, Bangor in 1985.[citation needed]

He was a project worker at the centre, specialising in developing practice through the medium of Welsh, developing a host of short courses available in Welsh for the first time, as well as producing and editing numerous books and training packages with his colleagues, including the first ever social work vocabulary in Welsh. He was appointed Head of the Centre in 1993.[citation needed]

In 1995, Williams left to work as a freelance lecturer, consultant and writer in the fields of social policy, social work, and social care, working primarily through the medium of Welsh. For the next six years, he worked for a variety of universities and colleges in Wales and abroad, as well as working for public bodies, charities, private companies and local and central government, including spending time as an adviser to the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee.[citation needed]

He has been a member of numerous professional bodies in relation to social work and training, and was also spokesman for the Child Poverty Action Group in Wales.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Williams in 2017

Williams was elected to represent the Caernarfon constituency in the 2001 general election,[2] following Dafydd Wigley's retirement, and again in 2005, with a significantly increased majority. In 2010, he won the new Arfon seat, which, following boundary changes, was at that time considered a Labour seat in Westminster terms. He was re-elected as Plaid Cymru MP for the Arfon constituency in May 2015 with an increased majority. He was a member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee between 2004 and 2010 and joined the Science and Technology Select Committee and the House Works of Art Committee in 2012.[citation needed]

In 2005 he joined the Panel of Chairs. This role involves chairing backbench debates, standing committees on legislation, committees on secondary legislation and from time to time, meetings of the whole House as a Committee in the main chamber.

His parliamentary responsibilities within Plaid Cymru are work and pensions, defence, international development and culture.[3]

He served as leader of Plaid Cymru in Westminster from September 2015[4] until June 2017.[5]

Williams' majority was cut to just 92 votes at the 2017 election,[6] with Labour's Mary Clarke coming close to unseating him, but at the 2019 General Election increased his majority to 2,781 [7] In March 2019, he voted for an amendment tabled by members of The Independent Group calling for a second public vote on EU membership.[8]

In November 2022, Williams announced that he would step down as an MP at the next general election.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Members of Parliament". Plaid Cymru. Archived from the original on 26 April 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Hywel Williams". Debrett's People of Today. Debretts. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Hywel Williams". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  4. ^ "Hywel Williams MP named as new leader of Plaid Cymru in Westminster". Daily Post. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  5. ^ "Liz Saville Roberts is Plaid Cymru's new Westminster leader". WalesOnline. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  6. ^ Gallagher, Paul (9 June 2017). "General election 2017: The smallest majorities of the night". i. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  7. ^ Trewyn, Hywell (9 June 2017). "Plaid Cymru holds Arfon after recount showdown". North Wales Daily Post. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  8. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (14 March 2019). "Brexit latest: The Welsh MPs who voted for a second referendum". Wales Online. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  9. ^ Bagnall, Steve (11 November 2022). "Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams will step down at next general election". North Wales Live. Retrieved 1 December 2022.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Caernarfon
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Arfon