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Monday, February 14, 2022

Tributes to Welsh Language Commissioner from Clwyd South politicians

* Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts.

Clwyd South politicians, past and present, have paid tribute to the Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts who has died at the age of 59.

The former Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member, from Rhosllannerchrugog, passed away yesterday following an illness.

In his role as Commissioner he fought for the rights of Welsh speakers and to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language.

He graduated with a law degree at the University of Aberystwyth in 1983, and he later went on to practice as a solicitor.

His career in politics began when he was first elected to Wrexham County Borough Council in 1991 for the Rhos and Ponciau Ward. In 2003 he became Mayor of Wrexham and the following year was voted in as Leader of the council.

In the 2011 election for the then National Assembly for Wales, he was elected as a Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales, going on to become the party’s spokesperson for Children and Young People and for the Welsh language. In the 2016 Assembly election his North Wales regional seat was captured by UKIP.

In April 2019 he was appointed by the Welsh Government to the role of Welsh Language Commissioner, succeeding Meri Huws in the post.

He was also very active within his local community, and has been a member of the Stiwt Arts Community Centre committee since it was established in the 1980s.

Tributes have been comping in throughout the day including those from Clwyd South Senedd Member Ken Skates and former MP for Clwyd South, Susan Elan Jones.

Ken Skates described his former colleague in the Senedd as a ‘true champion for the people and places of our region and nation.’

He said: "Aled was a gentleman, a brilliant and professional public servant, a true champion for the people of this area and Wales.

"He was always good company to have and was utterly dependable. He believed passionately in his home community of Rhos and the wider area of Wrexham County Borough, serving our communities with understanding and full commitment.

"We’ve lost a rare type of politician in Aled – someone who was always polite, compassionate and empathetic at all times. He will be missed by so many people, across the political divide."

Former MP for Clwyd South, Susan Elan Jones, also grew up in Rhosllannerchrugog and said the community would be united in sadness. 

She added: "He was an exemplary public servant, who served his home community and the people of Wales with great dedication.

"He was also a brilliant Welsh Language Commissioner. We will remember in our thoughts Llinos and the rest of Aled’s family, his friends at the Stiwt, and his many friends across a large number of organisations that he was involved in."

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