Plaid Cymru peer: Lloyd George knew my grandmother
- 21 January 2013
- From the section Wales politics
It's fair to say that Lord Wigley is not a regular visitor to the National Liberal Club. But Lord Wigley (and indeed Lady Wigley) stepped across its threshold to remember one of his predecessors as MP for Caernarfon.
David Lloyd George represented the seat for 54 years. Lord Wigley told a dinner to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lloyd George's birth: "I also had the honour of representing Caernarfon for half that time - just 27 years - I clearly didn't have the stamina which Lloyd George exhibited - in so many aspects of his life!"
Lord Wigley recalled his family's links with the north Wales politics of Lloyd George's era: "[My grandmother] Maggie Humphreys of Pwllheli was President for 11 years of the Pwllheli Women Liberals Association during the period when Lloyd George was the Constituency Member for Caernarfon Boroughs - it was a question of Lloyd George knew my grandmother - in a totally respectable context ........ I hope!"
Lord Wigley could live with Liberal skeletons in the family closet from the days before Plaid Cymru was founded; her husband's politics were another matter. "I regret to say, that her husband, my grandfather, was at that time, chairman of the Pwllheli Conservative Association: enough said!"
Three MPs who represented the seat for more than a century between them - Lloyd George, Lord Wigley and Labour's Goronwy Roberts - all ended their careers in the House of Lords. "All three of us would have been equally askance at the very thought in our younger days," said the former Plaid leader.
Lady Wigley's contribution - as the harpist Elinor Bennett - was to lead an ensemble from the South Bank Sinfonia in the premiere of a musical tribute composed by the Parliament Choir's composer in residence, Nicholas O'Neill, Why Should We Not Sing? - a title influenced by Lloyd George's National Eisteddfod speech of 1916.
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Thomas of Gresford, president of the Lloyd George Society, read extracts from Lloyd George's speeches and from Winston Churchill's tribute delivered to the House of Commons on Lloyd George's death in 1945.