A campaign has been created calling on Carmarthenshire County Council and Llanelli Town Council to recognise the contribution made to Welsh public life by former MP and Welsh Secretary, Jim Griffiths, by erecting a statue of him in Llanelli town centre.

The #CofioJim (#RememberJim) campaign, which was launched last week, urges the relevant local authorities to recognise the work of James ‘Jim’ Griffiths, the MP for Llanelli from 1936 until 1970, and the first ever Secretary of State for Wales from 1964 until 1966.

Growing up in Ammanford and leaving school at the age of 13 to work in the Gwaith Isa'r Betws, one of the town's collieries, Jim never forgot his roots.

He was a key figure in the trade union movement, and served, among many other positions, as President of the South Wales Miners' Federation in the Anthracite district of West Wales between 1934 and 1936.

Elected in 1936 as a Labour MP, Jim was always a significant figure within the Labour movement, too, becoming Party Chairman in 1948 and Deputy Leader eight years later.

He is remembered most for his role in the formation of the Wales Office in Whitehall, and being appointed by the then Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, as Secretary of State for Wales in 1964.

There is no doubt that Jim contributed a huge amount over several decades to improving workers’ rights and opportunities for people across Wales.

However, having been politically active in the same era as the great Nye Bevan, Jim has not been at the forefront of many people’s minds when looking at Wales in the 20th century.

The campaign has been devised and co-ordinated by 20-year-old Oxford University student, Theo Davies-Lewis, who was brought up, educated, and still lives in Llanelli, the initiative is long overdue.

Discussing what was behind the campaign getting started, Theo said it was a far more personal mission than it may appear.

‘My grandparents, Meriel and Raymond Lewis, were engrained in their community in Llanelli as the local florists of the town for several decades, and therefore had many stories to tell,” he said.

‘And it is with my late grandmother, Meriel, where the main source of inspiration behind getting this campaign going.

“She spoke passionately about recognising Jim in Llanelli, and I hope I am not only honouring Jim’s legacy with this campaign, but also my grandmother’s.’

Theo has written to all local and county councillors in Llanelli Town Council in Carmarthenshire County Council gaining the support of Leader of the Labour Group in Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr Rob James, and Llanelli’s AM, Lee Waters.

Most recently, the BBC reported that the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee concluded that the UK government should reconsider if Wales needs its own cabinet minister after Brexit.

For Jim, a man who worked tirelessly for Wales to be represented across the UK’s political discourse, this would be an outrage.

Theo added: ‘Jim arguably changed the political structures of Wales far more than most politicians of his era, and there is enthusiasm, I truly believe, to commemorate him accordingly.’

Now, more than ever, Jim’s work and career should be an example as to what politicians can achieve. A statue – a physical representation of Jim and his might – is the least we should do to remember this titan of modern Welsh history.