Dafydd Wigley to fight for disability rights in Second chamber


Plaid Cymru’s first elected peer Dafydd Wigley has today (Monday) promised to be a champion for disability rights as he enters the Second Chamber for the first time.

Mr Wigley has a long standing record of campaigning in this field, for example lobbying to ensure that access to polling stations were included in the Disability Discrimination Bill, and with fellow Plaid MPs, securing a compensation settlement for miners with lung disease. Mr Wigley was sponsor of the 1981 Disabled Persons Act and campaign manager for the 1986 Act. He also held the position of Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Disability Group for ten years while in the Commons.

Mr Wigleywill be sponsored by fellow Plaid Peer Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas and cross-bench Peer Lord Faulkner of Worcester as he takes up his new title as “Baron Wigley of Caernarfon in the County of Gwynedd".

Mr Wigley said:

“One of the most important things for me in the Second Chamber will be to continue my work in raising awareness of issues affecting disabled people and how we can improve life for this significant percentage of the Welsh population.

“I've got no interest in the pomp and ceremony of the Lords, but I do want to work hard for Wales here. 

“The fiasco with the vital organ donor opt-out proposals recently is an example of why we need voices in both Chambers.

“It should not be possible for an unelected chamber in Westminster to veto the policies of the elected government of Wales. 

“I'll keep a watchful eye on the progress of Welsh legislative bids during my time here and also to speak up on issues relating to the Welsh economy and the National Assembly's financial settlement.

“As the first ever Peer to be elected by a party's own membership, I hope that a fully elected second chamber will become a long awaited reality and while I'm here I will continue to campaign to see a reform of this place.

“I am excited to be taking this new role at such an important time for Wales, and of course I'm looking forward to joining Plaid's three excellent MPs in the Commons – a team which already punches well above its weight.”