Leaders from across the political spectrum in Wales have been reacting to the news of the death of Brynle Williams.
The Conservative Assembly Member for North Wales, who was 62, was well-known for leading the fuel protests in 2000, and was elected to the Assembly in 2003.
Carwyn Jones, First Minister:
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Brynle Williams. He was a colourful character on the Welsh political scene and a tough battler and campaigner for the things about which he was passionate. He will be remembered by his Assembly colleagues across the political spectrum with great affection. My thoughts and sympathies are with his family on this sad day.”
Nick Bourne, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives:
“I am greatly saddened by the loss of a popular political figure, a seasoned campaigner and a close personal friend. I first met Brynle ten years ago when he was first considering standing as a Conservative candidate for the National Assembly.
“Brynle was a master of his Rural Affairs brief and saw it as his role to defend the communities of rural Wales and their way of life. I know how many people’s lives were touched by Brynle’s warmth, empathy and good humour. The entire Welsh Conservative team feels a massive sense of personal loss and I know that will extend far beyond our own party. Brynle saw it as a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Wales and throughout his illness held on to the hope of returning to serve his country”
“Our thoughts are with Brynle’s wife Mary and their family at this desperately sad time.”
Cheryl Gillan, Secretary of State for Wales
“This is desperately sad news. My heart goes out to Brynle’s wife Mary and their family. I worked with Brynle for six years and was proud to count him as my friend. A passionate advocate for rural Wales, he dedicated eight years of his life to serving the people of North Wales in the National Assembly.
“He will be remembered as a man of conviction who held fast to his beliefs. His humour, honesty and warmth transcended party politics and charmed any political opponent. Wales has lost a very good man and we will miss him terribly.”
Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats:
“Brynle was a warm and genuine character and a great personality in the Assembly. He was, of course, a strong advocate for rural Wales and the farming industry and enormously knowledgeable and passionate about horses.
“I will always remember the Valentine’s night when my husband and I were in Cardiff after an international rugby match and seeking a romantic dinner for two. Brynle, who was with his wife, Mary, spotted us and decided to join us. The two husbands then spent the entire evening locked in a discussion on farming issues. Neither Mary nor I had the Valentine’s evening we had planned for.
“I will miss him greatly as will many people from across the political divide and we send our love to Mary and his family.”
Ieuan Wyn Jones, Plaid Cymru Leader:
“Brynle’s passing will be a matter of great sadness across all political parties.
“I will remember his infectious enthusiasm as an AM and as a thoroughly honourable and decent man. He was an exemplar of a man who represented his community in the National Assembly and made a great contribution to ensuring that the people of the north east in particular felt a part of Wales’ developing democracy.
“Our thoughts are with all of Brynle’s family and friends at this time.”