She previously held the position of Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, having been appointed to the post by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in September 2015 until she resigned in June 2016. On 6 October 2016, Corbyn appointed Griffith as Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, replacing Clive Lewis.
|Shadow Secretary of State for Defence|
Assumed office |
6 October 2016
|Preceded by||Clive Lewis|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Wales|
13 September 2015 – 27 June 2016
|Preceded by||Owen Smith|
|Succeeded by||Paul Flynn|
|Member of Parliament|
Assumed office |
5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Denzil Davies|
Nia Rhiannon Griffith|
4 December 1956
Somerville College, Oxford|
Griffith was born in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, on 4 December 1956. Her family comes from mining villages near Neath, in South Wales. Her father was Professor T. Gwynfor Griffith; her mother was Dr. Rhiannon Howell.
She was educated at Newland High School for Girls (now called Newland School for Girls) in Hull and Somerville College, Oxford where she graduated with a first class degree in modern languages in 1979. After Oxford, she trained to be a teacher (PGCE) at the University of Wales, Bangor.
Griffith became a teacher at Queen Elizabeth Cambria School in Carmarthen then Gowerton Comprehensive School in Swansea. She was a member of the NUT. Prior to entering Parliament, she was an education adviser and an Estyn Schools Inspector (the Welsh equivalent of Ofsted) from 1992. Immediately before becoming an MP she was Head of Languages at Morriston Comprehensive School, Swansea. She speaks five languages: English, Welsh, Italian, French and Spanish and has written a book on language teaching.
Griffith joined the Labour Party in 1981 and has held many posts of responsibility within the party, including Secretary of the Carmarthenshire County Labour Party. She was elected as a councillor to the Carmarthen Town Council in 1987, serving as the sheriff in 1997 and deputy mayor in 1998.
She was selected to contest the Welsh seat of Llanelli for Labour at the 2005 General Election following the imposition of an all-women shortlist after the retirement of Denzil Davies. She won the seat with a majority of 7,234 votes and remains the MP there. Griffith made her maiden speech on 19 May 2005. She is a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Welsh Affairs Select Committee and European Scrutiny Committee. She also chairs the All-Party Steel and Metals Group. Griffith was PPS to Harriet Harman MP in her capacity as Minister for Women and Equality before the 2010 general election.
Griffith was re-elected in 2010 with her majority reduced by 2,533 votes. In October 2010, she became Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills until October 2011 when she became Shadow Minister for Wales. On 13 September 2015 she became Shadow Secretary of State for Wales. She resigned from this position on 27 June 2016 following a series of other resignations from Jeremy Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet, but was appointed Shadow Defence Secretary four months later.
Her main political interests are tackling climate change and issues affecting industry. She has been Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages since 2015.
In June 2009, Griffith was named as one of the Welsh MPs whose expenses had been overpaid. Following a review of expenses Sir Thomas Legg ordered Griffith to repay £4,099.77 in mortgage interest claims.
In June 2010, Griffith had to repay the cost of sending 71 letters having been found to have breached Parliamentary rules on using House of Commons stationery for political purposes. The Department of Resources ruled that the letters, sent out just before the general election, "sought to communicate information about the Labour Party and that its intention was to persuade constituents to vote accordingly for the sitting party member". Griffith also apologised for her actions.
Griffith is divorced, her former husband was a social worker. In a photo shoot for The Independent in February 2016, Griffith came out as lesbian, commenting that her sexuality had been known among friends, family and colleagues since the mid-1990s. She was named on the 2017 Pinc List of leading Welsh LGBT figures.
Griffith owns a house in Llanelli, a flat in London, and a smallholding in Carmarthenshire which received Tir Gofal funding. Her hobbies include music, European cinema, gardening, walking and cycling.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
| Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
| Shadow Secretary of State for Defence