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Welsh Liberal Democrat peer Lord Emlyn Hooson dies, aged 86

February 28, 2012 8:04 AM

Warm tributes have been paid to the Welsh Liberal Democrat peer Lord Emlyn Hooson, often described as the "founding father of the Welsh Liberal Party". In 1962 Emlyn was selected to fight a by-election for the Montgomeryshire Parliamentary seat which had been continuously Liberal since 1880. He turned a majority of 2,794 in 1959 into a 7,549 majority, going on to retain the seat through five General Elections. Emlyn was appointed to the Lords in 1979, where he was the spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Agriculture and European Affairs, and then Welsh Affairs.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said, "Emlyn Hooson was respected in the House of Lords and the wider political community for his passionate liberalism, his love of Wales and his sharp intellect. Not only will he be remembered for his high profile legal work, he will also be remembered for establishing the Welsh Liberal Party in Wales - something we are still proud of today. He was a steadfast Liberal who cared for the people of Montgomeryshire and Wales. Emlyn was also a fervent advocate of Welsh culture and music having been President of both the national and international Eisteddfod. My thoughts are with his wife and children at this very difficult time."

William Powell, AM Mid & West Wales Liberal Democrats, said, "My thoughts go to Emlyn's family at this extremely sad time. Lord Hooson was a unique, highly respected, hard working and commited true Liberal Democrat. He fought all of his career for the good of both the party he loved and the constituents he represented. A true ambassador for the people of Montgomeryshire. He will be sadly missed."

Ted Edwards, Chairman, Montgomeryshire Liberal Democrats, stated, "On behalf of Montgomeryshire Liberal Democrats I extend our deepest sympathy to Lady Hooson and the family of Lord Emlyn Hooson.

He served Montgomeryshire as our MP from 1962 -1979 with sincerity and pride, and continued in the same manner when he entered the House of Lords. It was hearing Emlyn speak in the 1962 General Election campaign that made me decide to be a Liberal. We will all miss him."

Michael Jones, Former Chairman and Current President, Montgmoeryshire Liberal Democats, said, "I first met Lord Emlyn Hooson in about May 1962 with a by-election pending following the death of the late Clement Davies QC, MP. At that time, Emlyn Hooson was the youngest QC appointed in Wales.

"The by-election on May15th '62 was a carnival-type event. On the morning of the result, Broad St. Welshpool was packed. The result was in Emlyn's favour with a majority around 7,000. He held the seat in '64, '66, '70, May and Oct '74."

In the 60's he also represented his constituents at a Public Enquiry into the flooding of the Dulas Valley for a reservoir, in which he was successful, and none was built.
Shortly after the '66 election he was defending in a notorious murder trial ,the prosecutor was Sir Elwyn Jones the Attorney General.
He represented Welshpool Livestock Auctioneers Public Enquiry into Road Realignment in Welshpool, being successful for his clients.
After '79 he continued to help his former constituents, he had the well being of Montgomeryshire at heart. He could be very kind and charming, but he could also be tough and uncompromising when necessary. Lib/Dem activists often quoted 'beware of the smile of the tiger'.
My thoughts reflect exactly the headlines of the local paper where it said 'a very special man'. Montgomeryshire will miss his wise council."
Rob Harper, Chairman, Newtown & Rhiew Valley Liberal Democrats, "I dont think that there is anyone both inside or outside of the Liberal Democrats who did not know Lord Hooson. A true inspiration working hard to ensure that the lives of the people who he served in Montgomeryshire were represented fully and that their voices were heard. A truly remarkable individual who served the Liberal Democrats all of His life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lady Hooson and the family."

Read more here: Welsh Lib Dem peer Emlyn Hooson dies aged 86 (BBC)