Mid Wales

Funeral of Liberal Democrat peer Richard Livsey

Mourners have paid tribute at the funeral of the former Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Richard Livsey.

Deputy Lib Dem leader Simon Hughes was among those at the service for Lord Livsey, who was 75.

A eulogy was given for the former Brecon and Radnorshire MP by fellow Lib Dem peer Lord Roberts of Llandudno.

Current Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams, the Brecon and Radnorshire AM, was also at the funeral in his home town of Talgarth, near Brecon.

Mr Hughes said: "We loved Richard so much. The loss is therefore terrible.

"Richard was just one of the great figures in Welsh public life for the last half-century.

"As everybody said, a lovely man, a gentle giant, as Kirsty Williams said in her tribute, but a really determined and principled man.

"I learned much of my values about politics from Richard, and so many people did the same, and we are just here to say thank you for the example he gave us."

Lord Elis Thomas said: "He was a generous and kind man but he was also extremely determined and we stopped a few things in the House of Lords as recently as last year. He will be sorely missed."

The Reverend Canon Rowland Edwards, the vicar of Talgarth, and the Right Reverend John Davies, Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, took the service at St Gwendoline's Church.

Lord Livsey of Talgarth, who helped lead the Yes campaign in the 1997 referendum to create the Welsh assembly, has been described as a "wonderful friend to Wales" and a "passionate devolutionist" by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Image caption Lord Livsey was described as one of the great figures in Welsh public life of the last half-century

Brecon Jazz Festival

He was Brecon and Radnorshire MP for 11 years and Welsh party leader for eight years.

He leaves a wife, two sons, and a daughter.

Brought up in Talgarth, he entered Parliament in a by-election in 1985 and held the mid Wales seat by just 56 votes in the 1987 general election.

He became Welsh party leader leader in 1988 but lost his seat by 130 votes in the 1992 election.

He was re-elected five years later, becoming the Lib Dems' Welsh affairs spokesman.

He became a peer after standing down from Parliament in 2001.

The peer had a close connection with the Brecon and Radnor area all his life and was chairman of the Brecon Jazz Festival.

Lord Livsey was also a member of Talgarth Male Choir and appeared with them at the Royal Albert Hall last year.

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