Tributes for Lord Morris at Senedd

Tributes have been paid to Lord John Morris, the ex-Welsh secretary and Blair attorney general who  passed away yesterday, Monday (June 5).

David Rees MS said: “Lord John Morris of Aberavon was not only a huge figure in Welsh political life, but also a strong advocate for Wales and its language.

“Llywydd, yesterday in your tribute to him you highlighted how his early development in Cardigan moulded both his political views and his strong relationships with the agricultural world in Wales. Following his studies to become a solicitor, he became influential in the establishment of the Farmers Union of Wales, and never forgot the important role that agriculture plays in Welsh life and the Welsh economy. He then moved on into the world of politics, and on 8 October 1959 was elected as MP for my home constituency of Aberavon, and remained our MP for nearly 42 years. As the First Minister stated in his tribute, during that time John served in the Government in the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s, under three different Labour Prime Ministers—Harold Wilson, James Callaghan and Tony Blair.

“Neither should we lose sight of his progression in his legal profession to QC, earning great respect amongst his peers. But after leaving the Commons he was made Baron Morris of Aberavon, and continued an active role in the House of Lords until his death this week. Many here will remember his visit to the Senedd and his speech commemorating the first Secretary of State for Wales, Jim Griffiths.

“Now, throughout his political career he always believed in the decentralisation of government, stating on more than one occasion that the people in Whitehall didn’t always know what was best for Wales. As Secretary of State for Wales he introduced the first referendum on devolution in the 1970s, but was not deterred when that failed to secure the votes, and continued to work for devolution. He was undoubtedly a founding figure in the establishment of our Welsh Parliament, and we all sit here today as a consequence of that commitment.

“Llywydd, on this occasion 90 seconds does not allow me to do justice to the distinguished career and contributions of John Morris to Welsh life, but we’ve all benefited from his beliefs and his actions, and I’m sure all of our thoughts today are with his wife Margaret and his family.

“Thank you, John, for everything that you have done for Wales.”

Lord Morris of Aberavon was the  the longest serving MP in Wales. He was 91.

Lord Morris was one of the leading political figures in Wales and the Labour party serving  in the cabinets of three Labour prime ministers – Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan and Tony Blair.

He represented his constituency of  Aberavon from 1959 to 2001.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said Wales had “lost one of its most faithful and effective voices”.

Morris was instrumental in paving the way for the formation of the Welsh Assembly/Senedd.

Lord John Morris Attorney General for England and Wales, Attorney General for Northern Ireland Member of Parliament for Aberavon,

Born 5 November 1931 Capel Bangor, Wales – Died 5 June 2023 (aged 91)

Watch the interview with Lord Morris at the Jim Griffiths event at the Senedd in 2022.

Tributes to Lord Morris at the Senedd

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