Huw T Edwards
Huw T. Edwards was a prominent Welsh- (and English-) speaking public figure in twentieth-century Welsh society. In the 1950s he was known as ‘the unofficial Prime Minister of Wales’ because of his chairmanship of the Council of Wales. In 1958 Edwards resigned from the Council of Wales because the Conservative government refused to create the post of Secretary of State for Wales. In 1959 he also resigned from the Labour Party, after 50 years membership. Again, his reasons reflected a growing sense of Welsh nationalism. He had become increasingly interested in Welsh cultural and political issues and had encouraged his union to support of Coleg Harlech and the National Eisteddfod. On leaving Labour, Edwards joined Plaid Cymru. Edwards’s political life, therefore, seems to reinforce the notion of fragmentation of United Kingdom identities and their replacement by distinct and politically ambitious national identities in Wales. This book suggests that close examination of Edwards political life reveals a more complex situation. Edwards’s resignation from Labour was about his political desires for Wales but equally entailed a rejection of the rightward shift in British Labour politics being led by Hugh Gaitskell. Edwards’s protest can therefore be viewed from the perspective of the British left as well as Welsh nationalism. Hence in 1965 Edwards rejoined Labour, because the accession of Harold Wilson to the Labour leadership and government resulted in a radicalisation of the party alongside recognition of Welsh nationhood with the establishment of a Welsh Secretary of State and a Welsh Office.
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