Lee Waters MS has spoken of the legacy of Llanelli’s former MP Jim Griffiths at a Senedd event organised to pay tribute to his political life.
Brought up in Betws, the former miner, Jim Griffiths, went on to become Member of Parliament for Llanelli, holding the seat from 1936 to 1970.
Speaking of Jim Griffith’s contribution, Lee Waters said:
“We remember great figures like Lloyd George and Nye Bevan, rightfully so; Jim Griffiths was the other great titan who did so much to shape Wales today.”
“He was a Minister of the 1945 Government, and introduced the Family Allowance Act, National Insurance Act, and in 1948 brought forward the Industrial Injuries Act. Three central pillars of the welfare state which supports so many people in our local communities.”
The event also unveiled a bust of Jim Griffiths, which will be on display in the Senedd for several weeks before it is returned to its home at Parc Howard Museum.
Guest speakers included First Minister, Mark Drakeford, Elin Jones MS, Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart and Lord Morris of Aberavon. Nia Griffith, Llanelli’s current MP, spoke at the event of her predecessor’s championing of women’s rights.
Nia Griffith MP said:
“ Jim Griffiths spoke passionately from his own experience of the hardship he saw in the mining communities he was brought up in, the effects of unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, sickness and industrial injury, and took up the fight to bring about the reforms that were needed to help those who fell on hard times.
“He was also ahead of his times, in encouraging women to participate, welcoming suffragettes to share a platform in a 1910 by-election, supporting his wife to become a Councillor and then ensuring that the newly introduced Family Allowance was paid to the mother.
Lee Waters added:
“Jim Griffiths campaigned tirelessly to establish a Welsh Office and a Secretary of State for Wales. Eventually Jim took his place as the first ever Secretary of State for Wales when this office was established in 1964. The Senedd is an institution he did so much to lay the foundations for and I am pleased that the bust of Jim Griffiths is now being displayed there.
“He should be remembered always as a centre piece on Wales’ political Journey.”