The first thing to know about me is that I haven’t always been a Member of the Senedd or an MP, and it certainly wasn’t my ambition to seek election when I was young! So I hope this snippet gives you a flavour of my background in and outside of politics.
I’ve always been involved in Labour politics and community activism since a very, very young age. In fact, being born into a strongly Labour family with roots in steel and rural West Wales, my earliest memories were campaigning with my mum and dad on behalf of my uncle Ifor, who was the MP for Gower for many years.
As a teenager and young man, I campaigned for the Labour Party, heavily politicised by the devastation I saw in South Wales communities during the long Thatcher years, but also by the apartheid struggle, the struggles for freedom by communist-controlled Eastern-bloc countries, and the many battles for equalities and rights here in the UK and across the world.
Though my world-view also came from my friends, and our love of punk music (the original punk music – Tom Robinson, SLF, the Clash, the Banshees etc). But it wasn’t all politics. Far from it. Those punk concerts were sheer adrenalin! I was also mad-keen on sports and on theatre – which is where I began my first full-time job after college and then university.
In fact, I met my wife Joanna in a sports and arts centre where I was working. She was doing aerobics there, I was hanging around pretending to work, and – well - one thing just led to another! Joanna introduced a whole new dimension into my life, but not just in the obvious ways. She drew me into the incredible Irranca family, a family of Italian stock who came to Wales in the 1950s and worked really hard to make a successful living in the valleys of South Wales.
Theirs is the story of so many immigrant families over many generations, and I’m so proud to be part of this new and extended family. So, while I started out as a simple Davies, when Joanna and I married, we became the Irranca-Davies family, part of this glorious Welsh-Italian community.
After a successful career in sport and arts management, in both the public and private sector, I made a massive leap. I took the chance to teach people what I had learnt by becoming a lecturer in Higher Education. With a young and growing family of three children, and a fulfilling and demanding role, I though that was it for the long haul.
But my life-long passion for politics, and campaigning as a grassroots activist, as well as my involvement in community projects as a volunteer, meant that the idea to stand for election was growing. I was soon ready to try!
On Valentine’s Day 2002, I was delighted to be elected as the Member of Parliament for the wonderful constituency of Ogmore.
After nearly 15 years of service in that role, including periods as a government Minister and more, I stepped down in order to stand for the National Assembly of Wales. I was duly elected in May 2016, re-elected in 2021, and I am currently the Member of the Senedd – our Parliament of Wales – for Ogmore. I can never thank my constituents enough for placing their continued trust and confidence in me as their MP, and now as their MS.
There’s much more to this story of course, but I hope that has given you an insight into who I am, and why I am so proud to represent the people of Ogmore. It is an immense privilege, which I never take for granted, and which means I will always speak up for you in all that I do.
To find out more about Huw's parliamentary experience, and his work for you as an MS and MP, go to ‘Huw’s Experience’.