Lord Morris of Aberavon, the final surviving member of Harold Wilson’s cupboard and the final surviving Labour MP elected within the Nineteen Fifties, has died aged 91.
As John Morris, he was Welsh secretary beneath Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, and legal professional normal beneath Tony Blair.
He was one in all solely a handful of senior Labour politicians to serve beneath Wilson, Callaghan and Blair. He additionally served beneath Neil Kinnock in opposition.
It has been claimed that Lord Morris was the “father of devolution” in Wales, after drawing up laws in 1978 that led to a no vote in a 1979 referendum.
And though that title is disputed, he claimed his “fingers were on the strings of that harp from beginning to end” and the present Aberavon MP instructed Sky News that Lord Morris was certainly a “champion of devolution”.
‘Moral crucial’ to cease small boats, says Braverman – politics newest
Stephen Kinnock, son of the previous Labour chief Neil Kinnock, stated: “John Morris was a Welsh Labour politician and minister of nice distinction in each the Commons and the Lords.
“He served the people of my Aberavon constituency with dedication and huge commitment for 40 years and my deepest sympathies go to Margaret and his family.
“He was an awesome authorized mind and performed a fully essential function as legal professional normal within the British authorities and he was a pacesetter in Welsh politics, as a champion of devolution and a supply of knowledge, particularly on the authorized and constitutional features of the devolution course of.”
A number one barrister and later a QC, Lord Morris grew to become an MP in 1959 and, as a Labour MP for 41 years, was the longest serving Welsh MP in parliament.
Together together with his time within the House of Lords, after a peerage when he left the Commons in 2001, Lord Morris served in parliament for 60 years.
In Wilson’s 1964-70 authorities, he was a junior minister at each the ministry of energy and ministry of transport, earlier than changing into minister of state for defence throughout the battle in Biafra.
He was Welsh secretary all through the entire of the 1974-79 Labour authorities and legal professional normal from 1997 to 1999 throughout the battle in Kosovo.
Left-wing Labour mayor not ruling out authorized motion over blocked candidacy
Rishi Sunak says two extra barges shall be used to accommodate about 1,000 asylum seekers
As secretary of state for Wales, he drafted the devolution invoice handed by Callaghan’s authorities in 1978 which paved the way in which for the 1979 referendum.
But that vote was misplaced, as solely simply over 20% of the citizens voted in favour of the creation of an meeting in Wales.
“I had no idea the defeat would be such a big one,” Lord Morris stated in a 2015 TV documentary. “The truth had to be faced, we had failed abysmally.”
He claimed, nevertheless, that the devolution proposals in that 1979 referendum had been largely the identical as had been put to the general public in 1997 by the Blair authorities.
“There was very little difference between the old Act of 1978 and the new one,” he stated. “It’s the same piece of legislation.
“New work wasn’t wanted and that is how the measure was ready so rapidly. My fingers had been on the strings of that harp from starting to finish.”
The 1997 referendum was gained, narrowly with simply over 50% of the vote in favour, and in 2011 a referendum to present the meeting law-making powers secured a 63.5% Yes vote.