TRIBUTES have been paid to a Flintshire-born former journalist and Member of Parliament (MP) who has died aged 86.

Ann Clwyd died peacefully at her home in Cardiff on July 21.

Mrs Clwyd was the daughter of Gwilym Henri Lewis and Elizabeth Ann Lewis, born and brought up in Pentre Halkyn.

She was educated at Holywell Grammar School and the Queen's School, Chester, before graduating from the University of Wales, Bangor.

She was a student teacher at Hope School in Flintshire, before training as a journalist. She then worked for BBC Wales as a studio manager, and then became Welsh correspondent for the Guardian and Observer newspapers.

As a Labour Party politican, Mrs Clwyd represented the Cynon Valley constituency for 35 years and went on to become the oldest woman to sit in the House of Commons before standing down in 2019.

She held the post of the Member of the European Parliament for Mid and West Wales from 1979 to 1984, leading up to her successful election to the British Parliament in a by-election in May 1984.

Mrs Clwyd also went on to be appointed as a Special Envoy on Human Rights in Iraq by Tony Blair. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The news of her death was confirmed via a post to her official Twitter account.

It read: "Ann died peacefully at her home in Cardiff last night, 21 July 2023, with her family and cats around her. She will be remembered as a formidable journalist, MEP and, for over 34 years, Labour MP for Cynon Valley. She was campaigning until the end. A memorial service will be held in due course."

Hundreds of people have since paid tribute via social media, describing Mrs Clwyd as 'fearless' and a 'trailblazer' for women in politics.

Leader of the Labour party Kier Starmer wrote: "Incredibly sad to hear that Ann Clwyd, former Labour MP for Cynon Valley has passed away. A long standing Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party, Ann was a leading figure in the Labour Party, dedicating her life to our movement. My thoughts are with her family and friends."

Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: "So very sad to hear Ann Clwyd has passed. Ann was a courageous Labour MP and determined voice for the people she represented. A good friend of mine - and a huge source of support and generosity when I was first elected. She will be much missed. My condolences to her family. x"

Wales' First Minister Mark Darekford said: "I’m saddened to hear of the death of Ann Clwyd. She was a fearless campaigner, a defender of human rights and a trailblazer for female politicians."

Former Delyn MP Sir David Hanson wrote: "So sorry to hear this news - Ann was a fine labour MP and stood up for her community and Wales at every turn . It was a privilege to know her and serve with her. My condolences go to all her family and friends."

Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband added: "Very sad news. Ann had formidable insight, strong principles, deep humanity, fierce loyalty & a lovely smile. She taught me a lot. I will always remember going to her constituency to deliver the Keir Hardie lecture in 2010. I said Hardie was a “realistic radical”. So was Ann."