Don Touhig, the former Labour MP for Islwyn, has been made a peer.
Mr Touhig, 62, of Blackwood, was was appointed to the House of Lords as a working peer on Friday.
Chris Evans, Mr Touhig’s successor and new Labour MP for Islwyn, said he thoroughly deserved the honour.
He said: “I’m delighted by the news as I’m sure everyone in Islwyn will be.
“Don has been a true champion for people in the Valleys and I’m certain he will continue to fight for our communities from the Lords.”
Don Touhig has represented Islwyn in Parliament since winning the by-election in 1995 and succeeding former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.
A former newspaper journalist and editor Mr Touhig joined the Labour Party at the age of 15.
From 1973 to 1995 he served on Gwent County Council, chairing the Finance Committee between 1992 and 1994.
After his election to Parliament he became a member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee in 1996, a position he held until the following year.
When Labour came to Government in their 1997 landslide victory he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP.
From 1999 to 2001 he was the Government whip with special responsibility for Wales. Between 2001 and 2005 he was a Wales Office Minister as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales.
In 2005 he was appointed the under secretary of state for defence and minister for veterans and in 2006 was made a member of the Queen’s Privy Council.