I live in Llanelli and have been Labour MP for the Llanelli Constituency since 2005.
Whilst Labour was in Government, I served as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) firstly to Rt Hon. Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and then to Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP, Leader of the House and Minister for Women and Equalities.
Since 2010 Labour has been in opposition in Westminster, and I have been part of the Labour’s shadow frontbench team, firstly as a shadow business minister with responsibility for consumer affairs, employment law and the Royal Mail and currently as shadow Wales minister, working closely with our shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Owen Smith MP.
In addition my parliamentary interests and responsibilities include being secretary of All-Party Parliamentary Steel Group, industry, renewable energy, environment, equality issues, young people, animal welfare, Welsh Affairs Committee and European Scrutiny Committee .
I link my parliamentary work very directly with the interests and concerns of my constituents, and combine action through legislation and questioning ministers in Parliament with a very hands-on approach to problems in the Constituency.
So for example, whilst in Parliament I have worked to strengthen the Climate Change Bill, the Marine Bill and the Floods and Water Bill, and have set up the Llanelli Flood Forum to get the relevant authorities to deal with local problems of flooding and pollution of the Burry Inlet.
Before becoming an MP, after graduating in languages from Oxford University, I taught for some twenty years in local comprehensive schools, and also worked as an Estyn schools inspector. An active member of the Labour party since 1981, I previously lived in Carmarthen and served on Carmarthen Town Council for 12 years, and was elected as Sheriff for 1997 -98 and Deputy Mayor 1998 -1999.
In 2007, I became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Hilary Benn in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
From 2008 – 2010 I was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP, first in her roles as Leader of the House, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Minister for Women and Equalities, and later as Acting Leader of the Labour Party.
2010 – Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills.
My spare time activities include cycling, hill-walking and music.
First Class degree in modern languages from Oxford University
Teaching qualification (PGCE) from the University College of North Wales, Bangor
Career before becoming an MP
1983 teacher at Queen Elizabeth Cambria School, Carmarthen
1986 Head of Faculty at Gowerton Comprehensive School
1992 Adviser for West Glamorgan Local Education Authority and Estyn Schools Inspector.
1997 Head of Faculty at Morriston Comprehensive School
1981 joined the Labour Party
1987 elected to Carmarthen Town Council
1994 Secretary of the Carmarthenshire Labour Party
1997 Sheriff of Carmarthen
1998 Deputy Mayor
Member of the Co-operative Party
Trade Union membership
Cycling, walking, gardening, music.
Parents from near Neath. Grandfather: William Rees Griffith, miner and Labour member of Neath Rural District Council and Blaenhonddan Parish Council. Father: T. Gwynfor Griffith, University professor (now emeritus) at University of Manchester. Mother: Dr Rhiannon Howell, died 1980. Sisters: Siân and Megan, both doctors. Nieces: Rhian, Eiry and Annabel. Nephew: Dylan.