Parties suspend campaigning in Wales after Rhodri Morgan's death

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

Ten years later he was at odds with Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair who in Mr Morgan's own words "shafted" him by overlooking the MP's huge grassroots popularity when it came to picking a leader for the new Welsh Assembly.

Other tributes have been paid on social media to Mr Morgan. "My thoughts are with Julie and his family".

"He was a uniquely gifted politician with the greatest integrity, able to relate to everyone he met - who saw him and knew him as "our Rhodri".

'I worked closely with him as secretary of state for Wales to agree the basis for the full law-making powers the Assembly now has.

Current First Minister Carwyn Jones said: 'Wales has lost a father figure and a great politician tonight'.

He said: "He stood up for Wales, its people's future and its public services".

He added: "His bright confidence was infectious, and we can see so much of Rhodri's can-do attitude in our modern Wales".

Morgan was elected first minister in the early days of devolution during Blair's first term in office.

Political parties in Wales have suspended campaigning on Thursday as a mark of respect for Rhodri Morgan, who made a new for himself on the political scene when he became MP for Cardiff West in 1987.

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Welsh Labour, of which Mr Morgan was a former leader, along with the Welsh Conservatives, the Welsh Liberal Democrats, the Wales Green party and Ukip have all pledged to step off the campaign trail.

"Rhodri was an incredibly effective first minister for Wales". Honest condolences to Julie and the family'.

The Labour politician was a "towering figure", former Welsh secretary Lord Hain said.

Mr Michael, now police and crime commissioner for South Wales, was among the first to pay tributes to who he called "the most popular politician of his generation".

"As First Minister, his answers in the chamber were always worthy of attention and his encyclopedic knowledge across his brief ensured he was rarely wrong-footed".

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies - whose "misbehaving" cows once stormed Mr Morgan's garden - mourned the loss of "a giant of devolved politics in Wales".

Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones AM, said:"I am very saddened to hear of the death of Rhodri Morgan, and on behalf of the members and staff at the National Assembly for Wales, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Julie and the family".

"And while politically we didn't see eye to eye, there is no question that he was held in high regard right across the political spectrum and he will be missed by all who knew him".

"He was the most popular politician of his generation and the absolute master of the one-liner", he added.

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