Newport West Labour MP Paul Flynn dies aged 84

Paul FlynnImage copyright
Labour Party

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Paul Flynn was first elected to represent Newport West in 1987

The veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn has died at the age of 84, his local party has announced.

Mr Flynn, who was first elected to represent Newport West in 1987, had been ill for some time.

He announced in October he would step down from Parliament “as soon as possible” after becoming confined to bed because of rheumatoid arthritis.

Newport West Labour Party confirmed in a tweet that Mr Flynn died on Sunday, saying he was “a hero to many of us”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Flynn would be “greatly missed”.

First Minister of Wales and Welsh Labour leader, Mark Drakeford, said Mr Flynn was a “giant of the Welsh Labour movement”.

He added: “He was one of the most effective communicators of his generation – inside the House of Commons and outside.

“But it was Paul’s willingness to speak up for causes beyond the political mainstream which marked him out as a politician of real courage and integrity.”

Mr Drakeford said it had been “a privilege to have worked with him, in the run-up to the devolution era and beyond”.

Announcing his intention to quit politics, Mr Flynn said he was very frustrated not to be taking an active role in politics after three decades.

He said Brexit was “absolute madness” but vowed to take part in a Commons vote on any Brexit deal presented to Parliament.

Jayne Bryant, the assembly member for Mr Flynn’s constituency, first met the MP when she was nine years old.

“He brought politics alive to me then and has done so ever since,” she said.

“Respected across the political divide with his wonderful turn of phrase, witty comments and incisive mind – undoubtedly, Paul spoke truth to power.”

Conservative Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said Mr Flynn was an “exceptional constituency MP”, and said it was a “privilege to work with him”.

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