Paul Philip Flynn (Dr Hywel Francis (born 1946) is a Welsh politician and current member of Parliament. Francis, a Labour MP, has represented the constituency of Aberavon in Parliament since 2001.
Hywel Francis attended Whitchurch Grammar School and Llangtwg Secondary School. He studied at the University of Wales, Swansea, where he earned a doctorate in history. Francis continued to work at the University of Wales as a Professor in Adult Continuing Education prior to being elected in 2001. At the University of Wales, he founded the South Wales Miners' Library. He also was the chair of the Wales Congress in Support of Mining Communities. Hywell Francis is a speaker of the Welsh language.
Francis has been a member of the Gorsedd since 1986. He has been made Vice-President of Carers UK and Honorary Parliamentary Patron of the adult learners' body, NIACE. He is a Trustee of the Paul Robeson Wales Trust, and the Bevan Foundation, which he founded. He is President of the South Wales Miners' Museum. He authored Miners Against Fascism: Wales and the Spanish Civil War in 1984 and Wales: A Learning Country in 1999.
In 1999, Francis became a Special Advisor to Paul Murphy, the Secretary of State for Wales. Murphy worked in this position until 2000. The following year, he was elected to the House of Commons. He was re-elected in May 2005. He is the Chair of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, a former Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Steel and Cast Metal, and Chair of the All Party Carers Group.
Dr Hywell Francis voted in favour of a bill that banned smoking in restaurants in April 2003. In December 2004 and October 2005, he voted in favour of a bill enabling the British national identity card. In March 2002, he voted to ban the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. He voted in favour of the NHS Foundation Trust proposal. He also voted in favour of allowing unmarried heterosexual and homosexual couples to adopt, and in favour of the Civil Partnership Bill. Hywel Francis voted in favour of the replacement of the Trident system.
He voted in favour of adding clauses to a bill that allow the Secretary of State to detain indefinitely, pending deportation, anyone he suspects is a terrorist, even if the law forbids that person's deportation from ever taking place. He voted against only allowing people detained at a police station to be fingerprinted and searched for an identifying birthmark if it is in connection with a terrorism investigation. He voted against changing the text in the Prevention of Terrorism Bill from "The Secretary of State may make a control order against an individual" to "The Secretary of State may apply to the court for a control order...".
In March 2003, he voted that the case had not yet been made for for war against Iraq. In June 2003, he voted against a motion that would have recalled the Prime Minister's assertion that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that could be used at 45 minutes' notice, and launching an independent inquiry into the intelligence received and the decisions that were based on it. In June 2007, he voted against a motion calling for an independent inquiry by a committee of Privy Counsellors into the Iraq War.
Hywell Francis fought against the closing of Port Talbot's magistrates and the moving of administrative posts to other locations, saying "Local justice needs to take place in a local setting." He has suggested that Wales could have a carers' commissioner that could be based on the children's commissioner.