Former Labour minister Alan Williams dies

Alan Williams was Father of the House before stepping down at the 2010 election

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The former Labour minister Alan Williams has died, 50 years after he was first elected to the Commons.

With 46 years of continuous service as an MP, Mr Williams was Father of the House when he stepped down at the 2010 election. He was described by the former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain yesterday as a “supreme House of Commons man”.

The 84-year-old had been in a nursing home in London for six months after suffering a stroke, and died last night, his successor as MP for Swansea West, Geraint Davies, said yesterday.

He hailed Mr Williams as a “kindly and private” man who transformed into a “ferocious cross-examiner” when grilling ministers and others as a member of the public accounts and other select committees. Before that, as prices and wages minister in the 1970s, he was “at the heart of the storm” of the industrial unrest that engulfed the Callaghan government, Mr Davies said.

Mr Hain said: “Alan was a supreme House of Commons man: diligent; questioning; challenging; always on top of the issues.”