John Marek

John Marek (born 24 December 1940), is a Welsh Conservative politician, former Member of Parliament and former Assembly Member. He was leader of Forward Wales until joining the Conservatives in 2010.[1]

John Marek
Deputy Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales
In office
2 May 2000  7 May 2007
Preceded byJane Davidson
Succeeded byRosemary Butler
Assembly Member
for Wrexham
In office
6 May 1999  3 May 2007
Preceded byOffice Created
Succeeded byLesley Griffiths
Member of Parliament
for Wrexham
In office
9 June 1983  14 May 2001
Preceded byTom Ellis
Succeeded byIan Lucas
Personal details
Born (1940-12-24) 24 December 1940 (age 80)
London, England
Political partyConservative
Other political
Forward Wales (2003–10)
John Marek Independent (2003)
Labour (1983–2003)
Alma materKing's College London

He was Labour Member of Parliament for Wrexham from 1983 until 2001. He stood down after he was elected to represent Wrexham in the National Assembly for Wales in 1999. This was initially for the Labour Party, but he was deselected in 2003 and formed Forward Wales, for whom he was re-elected. He was defeated at the 2007 election.


Born in London of Czech descent, Marek was the only Czech-speaking Member of the UK Parliament.[2] He was educated at Chatham House Grammar School and at King's College London where he earned a BSc in Mathematics in 1962, and a PhD in Mathematics in 1965. He became a lecturer in applied mathematics at Aberystwyth University

Political career

Marek was elected a member of Ceredigion District Council in 1979 and served until 1983; he was chair of its finance sub-committee in the year 1982–83.

Having previously unsuccessfully contested Ludlow in October 1974, Marek was elected as Labour Party Member of Parliament for the Wrexham Westminster constituency in 1983 and served as a party spokesman on Treasury matters, although he was not offered a government post in 1997.[2]

As a supporter of devolution, he chose to move to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999, and stood down from the UK Parliament in 2001. In the Assembly he became increasingly known as a maverick. In 2000, he was elected as Deputy Presiding Officer against the candidate preferred by the Labour leadership. This move, and his frequent criticisms of the Labour-led Wrexham County Borough led to his deselection as the Labour Party's candidate for the National Assembly elections of 1 May 2003.[3]

Marek then stood as a candidate for the John Marek Independent Party and defeated the official Labour Party candidate, Lesley Griffiths, a former secretary of his, by 973 votes. Later that year he formed a new political party called Forward Wales' (Welsh: Cymru Ymlaen).[4] He ran for re-election in the 2007 Welsh Assembly election, but was defeated by Labour's Lesley Griffiths by 1,250 votes, thanks to a swing to the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, and UKIP.[5]

On 29 March 2010, Marek joined the Conservative Party,[1] and he was later confirmed as the party's candidate for the 2011 Welsh Assembly election where he again came second to Griffiths, by 3,335 votes in the Wrexham constituency.[6][7]

Marek is one of three Welsh MPs or AMs to win a constituency as both a party candidate and an independent, following S. O. Davies who was MP for Merthyr Tydfil from 1934 until his death in 1972, who was deselected by the local Labour Party on grounds of age prior to the 1970 general election but ran against the official candidate as an independent and won; and Peter Law who was barred from contesting his seat for Labour due to an all-woman shortlist being imposed [8]

Wrexham AFC

In 2006 he was appointed a vice president of Wrexham A.F.C. by new owners Nev Dickens and Geoff Moss, and remained a vice president until the club passed into the ownership of the Wrexham Supporters Trust.


  1. "Former Wrexham Labour MP and AM John Marek joins Tories". BBC News. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  2. "AMs profile: John Marek". BBC News. 1 September 1999. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  3. "AM loses reselection battle". BBC News. 22 February 2003. Retrieved 22 February 2003.
  4. "Marek is first independent AM". BBC Wales. 2 May 2003. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  5. "Independent John Marek is ousted". BBC News. 4 May 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2007.
  6. "Ex-Wrexham MP and AM John Marek to fight seat as Tory". BBC News. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  7. "Election 2011 - Wales - Wrexham". BBC News. 5 June 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2013.