Published on:
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Paul Flynn obituary

Veteran Labour MP who campaigned against nuclear weapons and was a strident critic of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

In many respects the Labour MP Paul Flynn, who has died aged 84 after nearly 32 years in the House of Commons, was the quintessential backbencher of his generation. He was an admirably energetic constituency MP, a tireless campaigner on a vast range of issues and fearless in the face of authority. It was thus a measure of his success that he was as much an irritant to his own party in government as he was to the Conservative frontbench, and that this was indubitably countered by the personal affection he generated among his Newport electorate.

Born in Grangetown, Cardiff, and raised with his brother, Michael, by their widowed mother, Kathleen (nee Williams), he experienced the heady days of the post second world war Attlee government. As a 10-year-old lad, he cheered the election of James Callaghan as the local Labour MP in 1945 and recalled hearing Aneurin Bevan speak in the city in 1948, as the minister of health, establishing the new NHS.

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