Renowned journalist, broadcaster and former Welsh rugby international Eddie Butler addressed packed audiences with two speeches in Abergavenny this week. The purpose of these talks, which were organised by the Monmouth Constituency Labour Party, was to help Catherine Fookes get elected to the Welsh Assembly in May 2016. Mr Butler gave his first talk to rugby fans and Labour supporters in the early evening at the Priory Centre. Later he made a speech at a fundraising dinner at the Kings Arms Hotel.

Mr Butler entertained listeners with tales of his exploits as a member of the legendary Pontypool rugby team during its glory days of the 1970s and 80s. He also told some amusing stories about his recent career as a sports commentator. He concluded by highlighting the similarities between sport and politics: both depend for success on excellent teamwork, planning and communication.

In conclusion he said: “Something has been triggered recently in Labour politics, prompting many young people to get involved. We have to hang on to them, and encourage them to work for a fresh approach. With Catherine’s help we will prosper in the buffer kingdom of Monmouthshire. We have a bright future in Wales, and that future is female”.

Ms Fookes said: “We want to thank Eddie Butler for coming here today to support our campaign. The Monmouth Constituency desperately needs Labour politicians at all levels. The cuts are already having a knock-on effect in education. We are out of special measures, but there are still areas where only satisfactory progress has been made. We will be pushing the Council to do something about the shamefully long waiting list for housing in this area. And we must have more investment in the high street. Businesses need more support to generate economic growth and to provide much needed jobs, especially for the young.”