1. ITV Report

Tributes paid to Plaid Cymru politician Steffan Lewis who has died aged 34

Mr Lewis announced he had been diagnosed with stage four cancer in December 2017. Credit: Plaid Cymru

The Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis has died at the age of 34.

Mr Lewis announced he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2017.

He was elected the regional AM for South Wales East in 2016, describing it as his "dream job".

He had been active in Plaid Cymru politics from an early age, addressing the party conference as a schoolboy in 1997.

Brought up in Crosskeys and Tredegar, Steffan attended Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Pontypool. He was Plaid Cymru's spokesperson on External Affairs, leading on Brexit.

Mr Lewis was active in politics from an early age, addressing his party conference in 1997 Credit: Plaid Cymru

More recently he's gained public attention for raising awareness about bowel cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease in late 2017. Despite his serious illness, Steffan Lewis remained active and prominent in the Assembly.

He said at the time of his diagnosis that he had received "incredible support" from family, friends and colleagues.

Flags outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay have been lowered as a mark of respect for the Assembly Member.

His family said to lose him is the "greatest possible blow to our family".

He leaves behind his wife Shona and three-year-old son Celyn.

Steffan Lewis continued working throughout his illness Credit: Plaid Cymru

We know that there are people throughout Wales who share our sense of loss. Steff inspired us every day. He was our rock, he was our anchor and most certainly, our hero. Above all Steffan was a loving husband, father, son and brother.

Steff fought this disease with the same courage and determination that he applied to his politics, and even when he was in great pain and discomfort, he continued to serve the people he so dearly loved to represent.

We will ensure that his legacy will live on forever – in our community, in our hearts and above all through his son, the little boy he adored, Celyn. Wales will not forget his contribution and his determination to make a difference to people’s lives.

We would like to thank all those in NHS who cared for Steffan during his illness, and in particular the staff of Ystrad Fawr Hospital and his Oncologist, Dr Hilary Williams from Velindre Cancer Centre.

– Family of Steffan Lewis

While receiving treatment for the illness, Steffan Lewis continued to work and raise awareness about living with a serious illness.

“Even though it was extremely difficult for him to talk about his illness while going through immense personal hardship, he was adamant that he had a duty to use his experience for the benefit of others", leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price said.

Mr Price, said Steffan had an "astonishing breadth of talents".

Steffan was beloved by his friends in Plaid Cymru and we are in a state of shock and grief at losing our very brightest star.

He dedicated his working life to the task of helping others and was able to do so with exceptional ability due to his astonishing breadth of talents.

From campaigning on behalf of former miners’ pension rights to saving health services in his region, everybody knew that Steffan was a formidable representative to have on their side who would never let them down.

– Adam Price, Leader of Plaid Cymru

A book of condolence is available in the Senedd for those wishing to pay tribute to Steffan Lewis.

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His friend, fellow Plaid Cymru AM Rhun Ap Iorwerth said his "contribution has sadly been too short."

"When he had something to say you listened, he never had to raise his voice because people knew when Steff spoke he spoke, he was speaking because there was something worth saying."

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood described Steffan Lewis as a "good friend".

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First Minister Mark Drakeford said he was "one of the most decent and able politicians of his generation."

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