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Professor Philip James Stradling Williams (11 January 1939 – 10 June 2003) was a Welsh politician for Plaid Cymru and scientist.


Phil Williams
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for South Wales East
In office
6 May 1999 – 1 May 2003
Preceded byNew Assembly
Succeeded byLaura Anne Jones
Personal details
Philip James Stradling Williams

(1939-01-11)11 January 1939
Died10 June 2003(2003-06-10) (aged 64)
Political partyPlaid Cymru
Alma materClare College, Cambridge



Williams was born in Tredegar in the industrial valleys of south Wales and grew up in Bargoed, another industrial town. He was educated at Lewis School, Pengam and Clare College, Cambridge,[1] and became a leading space scientist. He was appointed Professor of Solar Terrestrial Physics at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and simultaneously became economic spokesman for Plaid Cymru.

Political careerEdit

He contested the 1968 Caerphilly by-election, where he came close to unseating Labour in a safe seat, and became the second Chairman of Plaid Cymru in 1970, a post he held until 1976; when he became Vice President of the party. He was responsible for policy and research in the party for many years.

From 1999 to 2003, he was a Member of the National Assembly for Wales for the electoral region of South Wales East. Williams also stood for election in Blaenau Gwent in 1999 and got 21% of the vote.

Return to science and deathEdit

He stood down as an Assembly Member in 2003 to work on a research project to study the inner workings of the sun from the observatory near the North Pole. In 2001, he was voted Welsh Politician of the Year, and he was being pressured by former colleagues to become the next president of his party, following the resignation of Ieuan Wyn Jones as president. Shortly after standing down from the Welsh Assembly he suffered a heart attack while visiting the "A Touch of Class" (now known as Twice as Nice) massage parlour in Cardiff[2] and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.


  1. ^ Professor Phil Williams obituary, The Independent 10 November 2003 : Retrieved 10 November 2010
  2. ^ Welsh politician died in massage parlour, The Guardian, 2003, accessed 10 November 2010

External linksEdit

Offices heldEdit

National Assembly for Wales
Preceded by
(new post)
Assembly Member for South Wales East
Succeeded by
Laura Anne Jones
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chris Rees
Chair of Plaid Cymru
Succeeded by
Eurfyl ap Gwilym
Preceded by
Edward Millward
Vice President of Plaid Cymru
Succeeded by
Robyn Lewis
Preceded by
Robyn Lewis
Vice President of Plaid Cymru
Succeeded by
Dafydd Ellis Thomas
Preceded by
Dafydd Ellis Thomas
Vice President of Plaid Cymru
Succeeded by
Dafydd Iwan