- Lesley Griffiths
(Susan) Lesley Griffiths (born 1960) is a Welsh Labour Party politician. She worked as the constituency assistant to
John Marekand Ian Lucas, successive Members of Parliament for Wrexham, and was elected to the National Assembly for Walesfrom the Wrexham constituency in 2007.
Griffiths worked in the
National Health Serviceat Wrexham Maelor Hospital for twenty years before moving to work as constituency assistant for John Marek, the Member of Parliament for Wrexham; after Marek stood down at the 2001 general election, she moved to work for his successor, Ian Lucasin the same role. She campaigned for a Yes vote in the devolution referendum and was North Wales coordinator of Rhodri Morgan's campaign for the Welsh Labour leadership in 1998.Tom Bodden, "Assembly Elections 2003: Marek and Griffiths head an intriguing showdown", "Daily Post", 8 April 2003.]
Non-selection of John Marek
In 2002 she was mentioned as a possible candidate for the National Assembly for Wales."Westgate at Westminster: Women throw hats into the ring", "Western Mail", 15 May 2002.] Early in 2003, the whole of the Labour group on Wrexham council (including her husband) were reported to have threatened to resign from the party if John Marek stood again, having accused him of opposing everything which the group had done; Marek had also stood against the party nominee for Deputy Presiding Officer and won the post.Jo Kiernan, "A strange double act", "Wales on Sunday", 16 February 2003.] Marek accused his opponents of spreading "smears and lies", but a letter he had written to the Communication Workers Union urging it not to give money to the Labour Party if they disagreed with its policies damaged his position and he was deselected in favour of Griffiths by 84 votes to 80."'Smears and Lies': Marek blasts back after Labour drop him", "Wales on Sunday", 23 February 2003.]
After a Labour Party inquiry the non-selection was upheld, and Marek decided to fight to retain his seat as an Independent.Martin Shipton, "Marek likely to stand as independent", "Western Mail", 12 March 2003.] Griffiths faced an uphill battle during the campaign; an early poll showed Marek beating her by 40% to 29%.Kirsty Buchanan, "Marek beating Labour", "Western Mail", 11 April 2003.] On polling day, Griffiths had closed the gap but was beaten by 973 votes.
Having been a supporter of Wrexham Football Club, Griffiths was elected to the board of the Wrexham Supporters Trust. In December 2005 she was selected again as Labour candidate for the Wrexham constituency for the 2007 Assembly elections. She benefited from high-profile support as the party saw an opportunity to recapture the seat; John Marek appealed to the large Polish immigrant population by translating his election material into Polish.Allegra Stratton, "'Glosuj na mnie!'", "New Statesman", 30 April 2007.] However, Griffiths increased her numerical vote while Marek's vote fell, and she won the seat by 1,250.
* [http://www.lesleygriffiths.org/ Personal website]
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