Ann Clwyd was a Welsh Labour Party politician who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Cynon Valley for 35 years, from 1984 until 2019.
She was born and brought up in Pentre Halkyn, Flintshire, and was educated at Holywell Grammar School and the Queen’s School, Chester, before graduating from the University of Wales, Bangor.
Clwyd was the first woman to sit for a Welsh valleys constituency.
Her political career began in 1979 when she was elected as the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Mid and West Wales.
Clwyd was elected to Parliament in a by-election in May 1984 following the death of Ioan Evans.
She served as Shadow Minister of Education and Women’s Rights from 1987, but was sacked in 1988 for rebelling against the party whip on further spending on nuclear weapons.
Clwyd was a Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party from 2001 until 2005, and was elected as Chair by 167 to 156 (beating Tony Lloyd) on 24 May 2005.
However, on 5 December 2006 she was defeated by Lloyd by 11 votes when she sought re-election, with her closeness to Tony Blair being cited as a reason.
Clwyd was a courageous, fearless, principled political campaigner, whose politics remained steadfastly wedded to representation of her constituents.
She was also a former BBC journalist and stood down as Labour MP for Cynon Valley in 2019.
Ann Clwyd husband
Clwyd was married to Owen Dryhurst Roberts, a television director and producer.
They got married in 1963 and were together until Owen’s death in October 2012 at the age of 73.
Clwyd has spoken publicly about the care received by her husband during his illness and expressed her anger and grief about the treatment he received at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
Roberts’ care in the hospital has been a topic of discussion and has led Clwyd to speak out about what she perceived as a lack of compassion and proper care in the healthcare system.
In a report on The Guardian, Clwyd said her biggest regret was that she didn’t “stand in the hospital corridor and scream” in protest.
She described how her husband lay crushed “like a battery hen” against the bars of his hospital bed with an oxygen mask so small it cut into his face and pumped cold air into his infected eye.
“It was us again who covered him with a towel because he was cold and we couldn’t get more than two thin blankets to cover him with. And it was us who put socks on his feet because they hung over the end of the too-short bed
“I can’t believe anybody calling themselves a nurse could fail to give someone who is very ill that kind of attention but it was completely missing,” she said.
Clwyd added that nurses treated the dying man with coldness, resentment, indifference and even contempt.
Roberts died from hospital-acquired pneumonia.