In lots of respects the Labour MP Paul Flynn, who has actually passed away aged 84 after almost 32 years in the Home of Commons, was the essential backbencher of his generation. He was a very well energetic constituency MP, a tireless campaigner on a vast variety of problems and fearless in the face of authority. It was thus a measure of his success that he was as much an irritant to his own party in federal government as he was to the Conservative frontbench, and that this was indubitably countered by the individual love he generated amongst his Newport electorate.

Born in Grangetown, Cardiff, and raised with his brother, Michael, by their widowed mom, Kathleen (nee Williams), he experienced the heady days of the post 2nd world war Attlee federal government. As a 10-year-old lad, he cheered the election of James Callaghan as the regional Labour MP in 1945 and remembered hearing Aneurin Bevan speak in the city in 1948, as the minister of health, establishing the new NHS.

It was a subject of close household interest. His Irish father, James Flynn, had gone to the trenches of Belgium as a teenager in the very first world war and had actually been shot and subsequently recorded as a detainee of war. He made it through and returned home to work as a postman, but the household financial resources were specified by means-testing and medical professionals’ bills prior to his sudden death in 1940.

Paul Flynn speaking at a legalise cannabis tea party outside parliament in 2017.

Twitter Pinterest Paul Flynn speaking at a legalise cannabis tea party outside parliament in 2017. Picture: Mary Turner/Reuters Paul was raised as a Roman Catholic by his Welsh mom, and won a place at

St Illtyd’s

college, Cardiff, which was then a Roman Catholic kids ‘grade school. He qualified as a commercial chemist

at University College, Cardiff, and in 1955 started operate in the steel industry, first in the docks area of Cardiff, where he suffered severe hearing loss operating in a nail factory, and consequently at Llanwern, in Newport. In 1983 he was made redundant, and after a short duration in broadcasting began work the list below year as a researcher for the MEP Llewellyn Smith. His election to Westminster as MP for Newport West was available in 1987. He had actually joined the Labour celebration in 1956 and was chosen as a member of Newport district council( 1972-81 )and of Gwent county council( 1974-82). He battled the 2nd basic election in 1974 in the safe Conservative seat of Denbigh. In the Commons Flynn’s brief experience of the frontbench came at the extremely starting and end of his profession. Neil Kinnock made him a

junior spokesperson for Wales soon after his arrival in your home, aged 52. In 1988 he was moved to social security for two years, but then started his long vacation on the backbenches, where he rejoiced in being explained by the Guardian’s Simon Hoggart as” the believing guy ‘s Dennis Skinner “, a soubriquet he felt was suitable for his epitaph. Few could have been more shocked than

he when, aged 81 in 2016, he was appointed by Jeremy Corbyn as shadow leader of your house and then likewise shadow Welsh secretary. They were momentary posts after a wave of frontbench resignations had hit the Corbyn management, and while Flynn spoke approvingly of his leader’s task creation for older people he discovered himself retired again after 3 months to a less popular parliamentary role. It was never one of obscurity. Flynn had strong viewpoints on many things and a vivid vocabulary with which to articulate his views. He had the eloquence of his Welsh and Irish forefathers, which he could show in both his native English and the fluent Welsh he found out in his teenage years. He could likewise do an unintelligible, but obviously precise, rendition of Chaucerian English. An enthusiastic advocacy of using the Welsh language was one of his lifelong issues and he belonged to the Gorsedd of the Bards. Other topics with which he was very much involved included the medicinal usage of marijuana, for which he began campaigning in 1999, and the threats of overdosing from the use of paracetamol. He was opposed to nuclear power and nuclear weapons, and a strident critic of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On one occasion in 2009 he recited to the Commons a list of the 176 names of the UK military workers who had actually been killed serving in Iraq. He was suspended in 2012 for implicating the Defence ministerial group, then headed by Philip Hammond, of lying about Afghanistan.

He was a republican who, in 1996, proposed a personal member’s bill for a referendum to eliminate the monarchy. He believed in a chosen second chamber and opposed the honours system. Other concerns included mis-selling of pensions, public corruption, ferry safety, daytime saving for roadway safety and the use of bull bars on automobiles, which he opposed.

He was constantly near the top of any list of diligent parliamentary questioning, topping it in 1991 with a total of 928 parliamentary questions, costing an estimated ₤ 46,000 to answer. He won an award for campaigning for freedom of information that year and in 1996 was called the Spectator’s Backbencher of the Year.

He was a member of the choose committee on Welsh affairs and on transportation, and was a delegate to the Council of Europe and the Western European Union. He was an enthusiastic European, concerning Brexit as “the biggest political catastrophe of my life time”, and was not scared to say so although his constituency voted 56– 44 % in favour of leaving Europe. Before election to parliament he belonged to the Broadcasting Council for Wales (1975-80), the South Wales Docks Board (197680) and the National Museum of Wales( 1978-82). Flynn struggled with rheumatoid arthritis, which was very first detected when he was 9 years old. Although he recuperated from a mini-stroke in 2007, his health had actually just recently weakened with the start of pernicious anaemia and he announced in October that while he wished to go on being an MP “for ever”, he would stand down as soon as possible. He was a highly qualified user of all types of digital innovation, having actually won awards for < a href=" "title=” “class=” u-underline” > his MP’s site, and continued to work from his bed.

He released a variety of books about politics, consisting of a guide to being a backbencher (1997 ), upgraded as How to Be an MP (2012 ). It includes the rather cynical guidance for aspirant ministers: “Cultivate the virtues of dullness and security. Be attuned to the country’s most affordable typical denominator of conscience, idealism and cowardice. At all costs avoid any look of humour, creativity or interest in your speeches.” It was recommendations he, obviously, neglected himself.

In 1962 he married Anne Harvey and they had a son, James, and daughter, Rachel, the latter of whom predeceased him in 1979. He and Anne separated in 1984, and the list below year he wed Samantha Morgan (nee Cumpstone). She endures him, as do James, a stepson and a stepdaughter.

- Paul Phillip Flynn, political leader, born 9 February 1935; died 17 February 2019





Home of Commons