Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Baron Elis-Thomas PC (born 18 October 1946), is a Welsh politician, representing the Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency in the National Assembly for Wales. Born in Carmarthen, Wales, he was raised in Ceredigion and the Conwy Valley. He represented Merioneth, then Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituencies as a Member of Parliament from 1974 to 1992 and was the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales from its inception in 1999 to 2011. He is a member of the House of Lords, a former leader of Plaid Cymru, and, since 2004, a privy counsellor. On 14 October 2016 he left the party in order to support the Welsh Government and now sits as an independent in the Welsh Assembly. In November 2017, he joined the Welsh Government. He is the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism. As Deputy Minister he does not have a seat at the Cabinet.
The Lord Elis-Thomas
|Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism|
|Assumed office |
3 November 2017
|First Minister||Carwyn Jones|
|Preceded by||Ken Skates|
|Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales|
12 May 1999 – 11 May 2011
|Preceded by||New post|
|Succeeded by||Rosemary Butler|
|Member of the Welsh Assembly |
for Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (1999–2007)
|Assumed office |
6 May 1999
|Preceded by||New Assembly|
Dafydd Elis Thomas
18 October 1946
Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales
|Plaid Cymru (before 1970–2016)|
|Spouse(s)||Elen M. Williams |
Mair Parry Jones (present)
Thomas was born on 18 October 1946 at Priory Hospital, Carmarthen, and brought up in the Llandysul area of Ceredigion, and in Llanrwst in the Conwy Valley. In 1970, he married Elen Williams and had three sons. They later divorced. From the mid-1980s until 1992 his partner was Marjorie Thompson, the chairwoman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). In 1993, he married Mair Parry-Jones. He lives in Llandaff, Cardiff (when working at the National Assembly) and Betws-y-Coed (in the Aberconwy constituency, but prior to boundary changes in his constituency).
He was the chairman of the Welsh Language Board between 1994 and 1999, and is a former member of the Arts Council of Wales and the British Film Institute where he was Chairman of Screen between 1992 and 1999. He was also a director and vice-chairman of Cynefin Environmental Ltd. between 1992 and 1999. A former university lecturer, he has also been the president of Bangor University since 2000, as well as currently being a member of the governing body of the Church in Wales.
Having come third at Conwy in 1970, Thomas served as Member of Parliament for the Merioneth constituency between 1974 and 1983, initially as the "Baby of the House", and the Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituency from 1983 to 1992.
He was made a life peer in 1992, and changed his surname from Thomas to Elis-Thomas by deed poll, enabling him to take the title Baron Elis-Thomas, of Nant Conwy in the County of Gwynedd. He sat as a crossbench peer because at that time he had taken on the non-political role of chair of the Welsh Language Board; in 2012 he took the Plaid Cymru whip in the Lords.
National Assembly for WalesEdit
Elis-Thomas was elected to the newly established National Assembly for Wales in 1999, representing the Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituency until the 2007 election, and then the Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency. He also held the position of Presiding Officer since the Assembly's inception in 1999 until 2011. Elis-Thomas was Plaid Cymru's spokesperson for Environment, Energy and Planning from 2011, transferring to Rural Affairs, Fisheries and Food in 2012.
In October 2016 he left Plaid Cymru, but remained in the Assembly as an Independent member. In November 2017, as part of a Welsh Government reshuffle, Elis-Thomas was appointed as Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport.
"Mrs Windsor" incidentEdit
In December 2004 Lord Elis-Thomas asked Leanne Wood to leave the chamber for referring to Her Majesty the Queen as "Mrs Windsor" during a debate. Wood was the first assembly member to be ordered out of the chamber on those grounds.
- "Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM". BBC Democracy Live website. BBC. 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM". Plaid Cymru website. Plaid Cymru. 2013. Archived from the original on 10 January 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "No. 53056". The London Gazette. 23 September 1992. p. 15921.
- Bodden, Tom (8 February 2012). "Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas hits out at Plaid leadership rival's 'back room deal'". northwales.
- "Plaid Cymru AM Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas quits party". BBC News. 14 October 2016.
- "Ex-Plaid leader Lord Elis-Thomas gets Labour Welsh Government job". bbc.co.uk. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
- "Leanne Wood expelled from chamber". BBC News Democracy Live website. BBC. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2011.