MP: Dylan Thomas wrong about his 'ugly, lovely town'

Carolyn Harris MP Image copyright Carolyn Harris
Image caption Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris MP

Such is Dylan Thomas's reputation more than 60 years after his death, that few modern politicians dare to question his thoughts.

You may not be surprised to learn though that his description of Swansea as an "ugly, lovely town" didn't go down well with the city's newest MP.

Labour's Carolyn Harris used her traditional maiden speech to share details of her constituency with fellow MPs. She said: "Swansea East forms part of the geographical area that Dylan Thomas referred to as the ugly, lovely town.

"I am afraid though that I have to challenge that description as today the view from Dylan's Kilvey is anything but ugly. In 2015, Swansea East boasts a vista that is economically exciting, architecturally beautiful, culturally and educationally groundbreaking, and environmentally innovative. It has a sporting track record that is the pride of Wales."

By tradition, she also used her speech to pay tribute to her predecessors Neil McBride, Sian James (her former employer) and Lord Anderson of Swansea, who found himself described as "my political pin-up". You can read Carolyn Harris's speech here.

Antoinette Sandbach was a member of the National Assembly for Wales from 2011 until her election as MP for Eddisbury in Cheshire at the election.

She said in her maiden speech: "It is important that we recognise the strong links we have in our area. Speaking as someone who has both English and Welsh roots, I have been accused of being too English in Wales, and too Welsh in England.

"I make no apology for being British, and we should perhaps reflect that what unites us is stronger than what divides us. Having experienced devolution first hand, it is clear that if decision making is taken closer to those affected by it, people will benefit.

You can read Ms Sandbach's speech here.

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