Delyth Jewell has been confirmed as Plaid Cymru’s new Assembly Member for the South Wales East region following the tragic death of Steffan Lewis, aged just 34.
Ms Jewell was second on Plaid’s list in 2016 behind Mr Lewis and will take her oath of office in due course.
A women’s rights campaigner, Ms Jewell has previously worked with the Plaid Cymru group in Westminster.
Regional seats do not require a new election if one becomes vacant, but are instead allocated through the Additional Member System rather than the First Past the Post system that elects constituency AMs.
Regional AMs are elected from a list of candidates submitted by each political party, with Ms Jewell the second choice candidate on Plaid’s list.
Tributes were paid to Mr Lewis in the a special Assembly session at the Senedd on Tuesday.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price told AMs: “Wales is a small nation but every now and then we breed giants.
“Steffan was every bit the definition of a passionate Welshman but he was also a man of Gwent and he saw in the triumphs and tragedies of that great county the key to understanding the problems and possibilities of the nation as a whole.”
A friend we will miss greatly: This moment from a Senedd debate two years ago sums up the feelings of respect that I and members of Caerphilly Labour had for Steffan Lewis. pic.twitter.com/oKswt16xax
— Hefin David AC/AM (@hef4caerphilly) January 12, 2019
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The sense of sadness and of loss is profound in the Assembly this morning. We think first of Steffan’s family and his friends but we think as well of the loss to this Assembly and to the future of this nation.
“He was thoughtful, sensitive and committed individual.”
I’m desperately sad to hear of the passing of my colleague Steffan Lewis. Steffan will be missed by all who knew him as a talented politician and a kind, decent person.
In particular, my thoughts and sympathies are with his wife and young son at this incredibly difficult time.
— Rhianon Passmore (@rhi4islwyn) January 11, 2019
Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies told the chamber: “Every Parliament should have a Steffan – we’re just very sad that we’ve lost ours. He will be sorely missed on all sides of this chamber.”
Have just heard that our Assembly colleague @steffanlewis has passed away at the ridiculously young age of 34. Political differences mean nothing at a time like this. My thoughts and sincere condolences are with Steffan’s family tonight. RIP my friend, this is a very dark day.
— Dawn Bowden AM (@Dawn_Bowden) January 11, 2019