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Steffan Lewis (30 May 1984 – 11 January 2019) was a Welsh politician, who was elected to the National Assembly for Wales in the 2016 election.[1] He represented the electoral region of South Wales East, as a member of Plaid Cymru.

Steffan Lewis

Steffan Lewis AM (27555190473).jpg
Steffan Lewis in 2016
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for South Wales East
In office
6 May 2016 (2016-05-06) – 11 January 2019 (2019-01-11)
Preceded byJocelyn Davies
Succeeded byDelyth Jewell
Personal details
Born(1984-05-30)30 May 1984
Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, Wales
Died11 January 2019(2019-01-11) (aged 34)
Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, Wales
NationalityWelsh
Political partyPlaid Cymru
Spouse(s)Shona
Children1

In December 2017, Lewis was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer.[2] He died on 11 January 2019, aged 34.[3][4][5][6]

Early lifeEdit

Steffan Lewis was brought up in a bilingual household in Crosskeys and Tredegar. He first attended Swffryd Primary School in Blaenau Gwent before moving to the Welsh-medium primary school Ysgol Gymraeg Cwm Gwyddon in Abercarn and later Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Pontypool.[7]

He first became interested in politics with the 1995 Islwyn by-election, and became an active Plaid Cymru campaigner at the 1999 Welsh assembly election.[8] He then worked at a call centre before briefly studying Religious Studies and Ethics at Cardiff University.[8]

Political careerEdit

Lewis was a town councillor in Blackwood and was the Plaid candidate for the 2006 Blaenau Gwent by-election to the House of Commons, coming third with 6.5% of the vote.[8][9] He then worked with the party in the National Assembly for Wales, and wrote speeches for Leanne Wood during her leadership of the party.[9] He stood for election in Blaenau Gwent again in 2015 and came fourth of six candidates with 9% of the vote.[10]

In 2015, he was chosen as the top candidate for Plaid Cymru in the South East Wales region and was elected to the National Assembly for Wales in the 2016 election as its youngest-ever member.[9] He succeeded Jocelyn Davies, for whom he had previously worked as a communications officer.[8] He was made the party's Secretary for External Affairs and led the response to Brexit.[9]

Illness and deathEdit

Just one year after having taken his seat in Parliament, Lewis was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2017. It was found that the disease had already spread to other parts of his body, and he was not expected to recover. Despite his illness, he continued his work as a minister and as Plaid Cymru's Brexit spokesman. He also spoke openly about fighting the illness and how he was coping.[11]

He died at Ystrad Fawr Hospital in Ystrad Mynach on 11 January 2019. Tributes were paid to him from all parties in the Assembly.

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru said:

"Steffan was beloved by his friends in Plaid Cymru and we are in a state of shock and grief at losing our very brightest star..."[12]

He was succeeded by Delyth Jewell, who had been second on Plaid's list in the region at the 2016 election.[13]

His funeral was scheduled for 25 January at St Luke's Church, Abercarn, followed by burial at the local cemetery.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Lewis married Shona, who is from Inverness, in 2009. They lived in Blackwood and had a son, Celyn, aged three years at the time of his father's death.[8] He was a noted fan of Celtic Football Club.[8][9]

Offices heldEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Welsh Election 2016: Labour just short as UKIP wins seats". BBC Wales News. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  2. ^ "The young AM trying to make a difference while fighting terminal cancer". Wales Online. 26 September 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Plaid Cymru assembly member Steffan Lewis dies aged 34". BBC News. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Plaid Cymru politician Steffan Lewis dies, aged 34". ITV News. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Plaid AM Steffan Lewis dies at 34: A tribute to a brave, committed young advocate for Wales". Wales Online. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis dies aged 34". Heart. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Plaid Cymru Leader pays tribute to 'brightest star' Steffan Lewis". Plaid Cymru. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Williams, James (16 September 2017). "Plaid Cymru's Steffan Lewis: Assembly member is my dream job". BBC News. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Obituary: Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis". BBC News. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  10. ^ Gillett, Francesca (8 May 2015). "ELECTION 2015: Blaenau Gwent elects Labour's Nick Smith for a second term". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Marw'r Aelod Cynulliad, Steffan Lewis, yn 34". Golwg360. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Plaid Cymru politician Steffan Lewis dies following cancer battle". ITV. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  13. ^ "New AM Delyth Jewell following death of Steffan Lewis". BBC News. 16 January 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  14. ^ Craig, Ian (18 January 2019). "Funeral details for Steffan Lewis announced". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 22 January 2019.