Wales politics

Brynle Williams' funeral held in Cilcain, near Mold

Brynle Williams' coffin passes in a horse-drawn carriage
Image caption Brynle Williams' funeral was held in his home village of Cilcain, Flintshire

Political parties have scaled back national campaigns in the Welsh assembly election for the funeral of long-serving Tory AM Brynle Williams.

It was a mark of respect for Mr Williams, 62, a North Wales AM since 2003 and rural affairs spokesman.

At the funeral in his home village of Cilcain, near Mold, his coffin was carried in a horse-drawn carriage.

Mourners were led by his wife Mary, members of his family, and politicians of all the main parties.

Assembly Presiding Officer Lord Elis Thomas, led politicians in a church service which overspilled into the adjacent churchyard.

Mr Williams' coffin was taken to the church in a horse drawn, glass-sided funeral carriage drawn by two Belgian fresian horses.

He came to public prominence leading fuel protests in September 2000.

Image caption Brynle Williams was elected an AM in 2003

Following the announcement of his death, First Minister Carwyn Jones said Mr Williams was "colourful" and a "tough battler".

Welsh Tory assembly leader Nick Bourne said Mr Williams was "immensely popular" across all parties.

Prime Minister David Cameron called him a "straight talker and a great loss to the assembly and to Wales".

A sheep and cattle farmer, Mr Williams was an expert in Welsh cobs and a member of the council of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society.

In the 2000 fuel protests, he rose to prominence as a spokesman for farmers protesting at the Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

He was a leading campaigner at the 1997 protest against the importation of beef at Holyhead.

A sheep and cattle farmer, Mr Williams was an expert in Welsh cobs and a member of the council of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society.

Born in Cilcain, Flintshire, Mr Williams is survived by his wife Mary and a son and daughter.

Meanwhile, the first of three English-language election debates, from Glyndwr University, Wrexham, will be shown on BBC One Wales on Monday at 2235 GMT.

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