Newly appointed Assembly Member for South Wales East Delyth Jewell has paid tribute to her predecessor in a moving maiden speech in the Senedd.
She said that although Steffan Lewis is irreplaceable, she is committed to serving her constituents in South East Wales to the best of her ability.
Delyth Jewell AM said:
“’All I have, I would have given gladly not to be standing here today.’
“Not my words, but those of President Johnson to the US Congress, when taking over from that other statesman, Kennedy.
“I do not quote these words out of a lack of gratitude in coming to this seat, nor indeed from a lack of determination to do the best I can.
“But rather, I quote them in a sense of profound sadness at the loss of my friend.”
Delyth Jewell added:
“It’s long been a dream of mine to be in this place – not ever in these circumstances. But a dream all the same.
“Yeats taught me that, ‘In dreams begin responsibilities’.
“I have a responsibility to the people of South Wales East to do the best I can, as well as to my party and group.
“And I have a responsibility to Steffan. I do not bear it lightly. I know I must give all I have, for him.
“I know that many of my fellow AMs will think of me as being in Steffan’s place and – I don’t mind that.
“In fact, I will consider it an honour. For although I am this chamber’s newest member, in Steffan’s place, I’ve been given the best seat in the house.
“I am in Steffan’s place, but I will never replace him. I hope you will let me share it with him.”