Rhodri Morgan dies at 77

18 May 2017, 07:16

Rhodri Morgan

Tributes are being paid to former First Minister of Wales Rhodri Morgan,who has died aged 77.

Dscribed as “the Father of Wales”, Mr Morgan spent more than 30 years in politics and led the country as First Minister for almost 10 years from 2000.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has hailed him as a “giant” of the Labour movement, while current Welsh Secretary, Conservative Alun Cairns, said Mr Morgan was a “significant politician” and a “great servant to Wales'”.

Paying tribute to his predecessor, current First Minister Carwyn Jones said:

"Wales hasn't just lost a great politician; we've lost a real father figure.

“In very many ways Rhodri wasn't like other politicians, and that is why people warmed to him, trusted him and felt like they knew him so well.

“He was funny, clever, engaging on almost any topic and absolutely passionate about all things Welsh.

“I owe him a great deal, just as we all do in Wales."

After standing down as an MP in 2001, he retained his Assembly seat following the 2003 and 2007 elections - and managed to stay in the Senedd's top job in the case of the latter despite Labour not winning an overall majority and entering a coalition with Plaid Cymru.

In September 2009, on his 70th birthday, Mr Morgan announced he would be relinquishing his post as first minister - with Bridgend AM Mr Jones later succeeding him.

And around 12 months later, Mr Morgan announced he would be retiring from politics altogether.

He leaves behind two daughters, a son and wife, Julie Morgan, the Welsh Assembly Member for Cardiff North.

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