Dame Rosemary Butler was a Member of the National Assembly
for Wales between May 1999 and April 2016. This was her biography at the time she
Dame Rosemary Butler has lived in Caerleon, part of the Newport West
Constituency, for many years, and attended St Julian's High School. Her
interests range from museums, art galleries, concerts and opera, to foreign
travel and family history.
Rosemary joined the Labour party
in 1971 and two years later she was elected Labour councillor for Caerleon on
Newport Borough Council, a position she held until 1999. While on the council,
she chaired the Leisure Services Committee for 12 years, and served as Deputy
Leader and Mayor of Newport (1989/1990).
She was elected as Newport
West’s first Assembly Member in May 1999 and has been re-elected in each
subsequent Assembly election.
Rosemary was appointed to the
first National Assembly cabinet as Minister for pre-16 Education and Children,
and chaired the Culture, Welsh Language and Sport Committee and was the
Assembly’s representative on the European Union’s Committee of the Regions. She
has also been Deputy Presiding Officer, Chair of the Assembly’s Legislation (1)
Committee (which scrutinised all backbench proposals to introduce Measures) and
served on the British Council Cross-Party group.
In May 2011, Rosemary was elected to the position of
Presiding Officer of the National Assembly by a unanimous vote of Assembly
Members. In addition, she represents the Assembly on the British Irish
Parliamentary Association and CALRE (Speakers of Legislative Bodies in the
Rosemary is an
honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Newport, Co-founder and chair of
the Newport International Competition for Young Pianists, a founding member of
the Newport-Kutaisi Twinning Association, president of the Friends of Newport
Transporter Bridge, president of the Wales Home Safety Council, president of
Newport Harriers Athletic Club, honorary life member of Newport Sports Council,
life member of Newport Cricket Club, a founder member of the Friends of
Tredegar House, Ambassador for Girl Guiding, a founder member of Newport
Women's Aid, Honorary Doctor of University of South Wales, Honorary Fellow of
Cardiff Metropolitan University, Chair of the Independent Chartist Commission (Newport),
member of Women's International League of Peace and Freedom and patron of
Caerleon Arts Festival.