Helen Mary Jones

Helen Mary Jones (born 29 June 1960) is a Welsh Plaid Cymru politician, who was a member of the Senedd Cymru from 1999 to 2011 and again from August 2018.[1]

Helen Mary Jones

Member of the Senedd
for Mid and West Wales
Assumed office
2 August 2018
Preceded bySimon Thomas
In office
1 May 2003  3 May 2007
Preceded byCynog Dafis
Succeeded byNerys Evans
Member of the Senedd
for Llanelli
In office
3 May 2007  5 May 2011
Preceded byCatherine Thomas
Succeeded byKeith Davies
In office
6 May 1999  1 May 2003
Preceded byOffice Created
Succeeded byCatherine Thomas
Personal details
Born (1960-06-29) 29 June 1960 (age 60)
Colchester, England
Political partyPlaid Cymru
Alma materAberystwyth University


Jones was born in Colchester, Essex. She was educated at Colchester County High School for Girls, Caereinion High School in Powys and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where she was awarded an honours degree in history and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. She has taught in the special education field and has held various positions in youth, community and social work.[2]

Political career

She is a member of Plaid Cymru and a former deputy leader.[3] Her political interests include environmental issues, social justice, equal opportunities, children's rights and employment.

She unsuccessfully contested the 1992 general election in Islwyn against the then leader of the Labour Party, Neil Kinnock, and the 1997 general election in Montgomeryshire. In 1999 she was elected to the new National Assembly for Wales for the constituency of Llanelli. Prior to being elected as AM for Llanelli she was Senior Development Manager with the Equal Opportunities Commission in Wales.

She was Shadow Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, and a member of the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee, the Equality of Opportunity Committee, the South West Wales Regional Committee and also a member of the Voluntary Sector Partnership during the first term of the National Assembly.

She stood in the 2000 and 2003 Plaid Cymru leadership elections, losing to Ieuan Wyn Jones in both elections.[4][5]

In the 2003 elections to the Senedd she lost her constituency seat in Llanelli by just 21 votes, but was nevertheless elected for the Mid and West Wales "top-up" region. She was the Shadow Minister for the Environment, Planning and Countryside in the Second Assembly (2003–07). During the 2007 elections to the Senedd she won back the Llanelli constituency with a majority of 3,884 votes. She lost her seat to Labour's Keith Davies by 80 votes in the 2011 election.

In November 2011 she was appointed Chief Executive of Youth Cymru, a voluntary organisation supporting youth work in Wales. She is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Board sent in to Pembrokeshire County Council by the Welsh Government to support and challenge as they improve safeguarding after damaging inspection reports. She was elected National Chair of Plaid Cymru in September 2011.

In October 2014, it was announced she would be the candidate for the 2016 Assembly elections for the Llanelli constituency again.[3] In the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election, she lost to Welsh Labour candidate Lee Waters by 382 votes.[6]

She returned to the Assembly in August 2018 to represent Mid and West Wales following the resignation of Simon Thomas.[1]


  1. "Helen Mary Jones returns as Plaid AM, replacing Simon Thomas". BBC News. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  2. "UK: Wales: AMs". BBC News. 1 September 1999. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  3. Martin Shipton (13 October 2014). "Former Plaid Cymru deputy leader Helen Mary Jones to stand in Llanelli again". Wales Online. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  4. Grice, Andrew (4 August 2000). "Plaid Cymru picks Ieuan Wyn Jones by a landslide". The Independent. London. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  5. "Ieuan and Iwan for Plaid". BBC News. 15 September 2003. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  6. Rhys, Steffan (6 May 2016). "The winners and losers from Assembly Election 2016". walesonline.