Wales

Delyth Jewell sworn in as AM after Steffan Lewis death

Delyth Jewell Image copyright Plaid Cymru
Image caption Delyth Jewell made her oath privately on Friday

A new Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales East has been sworn into office following the death of Steffan Lewis last month.

Delyth Jewell previously worked for the Plaid Cymru group of MPs in Westminster.

Mr Lewis died at the age of 34 having been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2017.

Unlike constituency AMs, the death of a Regional Member does not trigger a by-election.

Ms Jewell, from Caerphilly, said that she would honour Mr Lewis' in her role.

"Everything I do in my role will be to honour Steffan's memory and to serve the people he represented," she said.

"It is a tremendous honour for me."

Mr Lewis, who was one of Wales' youngest assembly members, was elected to the Welsh Assembly in 2016, having previously served as former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood's speech writer.

His illness did not stop him from making contributions to Senedd debates, and AMs from across the parties rallied around him after he was diagnosed - taking part in a charity walk organised by Mr Lewis's sister, Nia.

He often spoke about the emotional toll of living with cancer in interviews, saying he had learned it was "OK to be frightened".

Image caption Steffan Lewis was one of the "most decent and able politicians of his generation", Mark Drakeford said

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said: "While joining us under incredibly tragic circumstances, Delyth will be an asset to the Plaid Cymru group and shadow cabinet here in our Senedd.

"Delyth's wide range of skills and talents will make her an exceptional Assembly Member and a champion representative - not just for South Wales East but for the whole of Wales."

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