The sad death of Labour’s veteran Welsh MP Paul Flynn was announced on Sunday by his local party. Flynn had last year announced his intention to retire from Parliament after a worsening of the chronic rheumatoid arthritis he suffered.
Typically of his ethos of genuine public service, when he announced his impending retirement he said he planned to hang on for a few more months in case another snap general election was called, as he wanted to save taxpayers the cost of an additional by-election if possible.
Flynn, a fluent Welsh speaker, was famously outspoken and a fearless campaigner. He also, in the wake of the 2016 ‘chicken coup’ and in spite of health issues, served in two shadow ministerial posts – Shadow Welsh Secretary and Shadow Leader of the House – to fill gaps left by those resigning to try to force Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation.
When later asked to stand aside from his front-bench posts, he refused to complain in spite of wanting to continue – instead stating that:
Some people are aggrieved with the reshuffle. I am not ecstatic but I will remain silent on the irritating details to avoid setting another hare running.
An example rarely seen and a man who will be sorely missed. He is survived by his wife Samantha and his two children.