Alec Jones had joined the Labour Party in 1945. He had been chairman of the Wood Green CLP and secretary of the Rhondda West CLP, 1965—67, and of the Rhondda branch of the National Association of Labour Teachers. He was also a member of the Wood Green Borough Council. He acted as political agent to Iori Thomas MP in the general election of March 1966. When Thomas died the following year, Jones was chosen as his successor, and held the seat in spite of a very powerful challenge from Vic Davies (Plaid Cymru). This key by—election was held in a climate of disenchantment with the Labour Party as a result of local pit closures. Jones's majority was consequently little more than 2,000 votes. In 1974 he was elected MP for the combined unified Rhondda constituency with one of the largest Labour majorities in the whole of the country, and remained so until his death. He created one of the safest Labour seats in the whole of Britain, with a majority of more than 38,000 votes in the general election of June 1979. He served as a member of the Welsh Council of Labour Executive and the NUT. He was also secretary to the Welsh Parliamentary Labour Party. He was a PPS to John Morris, Minister for Defence Equipment, 1968—70, Under—secretary for Health and Social Security, October 1974—June 1975, and Under—secretary at the Welsh Office, June 1975—May 1979. While at the Welsh Office he had special responsibility for housing, land reclamation, local government and devolution. In 1979 he was appointed Principal Opposition spokesman on Welsh affairs. He became a PC in 1979. He had sponsored the Divorce Reform Act of 1969. Predictably, Jones had a deep and abiding interest in issues like housing and social services. He married on 12 August 1950 Mildred Maureen, the daughter of William T. Evans, and they had one son. They lived at 58 Henry Street, Tonypandy, Rhondda. He died at his home on 20 March 1983 having suffered from heart trouble for several years and cremated at Glyntaff Crematorium. His wife and son survived him.
Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth
Published date: 2008