A CARMARTHENSHIRE MP remains passionate about his job representing the region at Westminster after 13 years in the post.

Speaking to the South Wales Guardian, Jonathan Edwards, spoke candidly about his time as an MP and his plans going forward.

Mr Edwards – who has represented Carmarthen East and Dinefwr through four general elections, providing a voice for constituents for 13 years – said: “I’m still really passionate for the job. I still think I’ve got a lot to offer and I’m not going to allow my political opponents to determine my political fitness.

“I think it’s a matter for the people of Carmarthenshire to decide who they want to be their MP. I put my name before them on four occasions and I’m not afraid at all of putting it before them again for a fifth time.

“I think I’m now the longest ever serving Member of Parliament for the Carmarthenshire seat as it’s been over the centuries. I don’t think anybody has done as many years as me.

“I’ve passed the 13th year and nobody’s won as many elections as me, nobody’s ever won four elections, but I’m still as enthused and passionate for the job as I always was.”

Mr Edwards believes that – even after all these years – getting out and about in the communities he represents is a vital part of being a politician, to find out what issues residents have and what support they need directly from the people affected.

“I wake up in London in the morning and once I know what the urgent business is, I’m still knocking,” he said. “I don’t think many politicians knock as many doors as me.

“We go out every Friday to some part of the constituency and we knock some doors and I’m still as eager as ever to undertake that work, to have discussions with people directly in their communities.

“That’s always been a very important part of my political philosophy, that I need to be in communities rather than waiting for people to come to see me and that enthusiasm is still there.”

Mr Edwards also referenced a difficult last few years, after leaving Plaid Cymru to represent the constituency as an independent after issues in his personal life - in relation to an assault on his wife, which he received a police caution for - were used to ‘settle a political score.’

“They’ve used an issue in my personal life to settle a political score with me. Politics is known for being a dirty game, but I had no idea how dirty some people would be. People who I considered to be lifelong political allies, that they would intervene directly in my personal life to get at me politically.”

On whether or not he would put his name forward for a fifth term as an MP in the next general election, Mr Edwards said: “The people of the constituency will decide who their Member of Parliament is. And at a political level, there’s absolutely no reason why I won’t put my name forward.

“I’ve been speaking to lots of people over recent months and people are asking me about wanting me to stand, so people are asking me to stand and then therefore the consideration for me about whether I’ll go for a fifth term really then comes down to personal issues. Those are the balances that I need to weigh up, which would be part of any normal decision making process before we come to an election.

“There’s probably a year until the election, so there’s plenty of time to continue doing my job as passionately as I can. I don’t think many Members of Parliament speak as often as me in the House of Commons, for instance, and I’ll continue to engage with local communities and then I’ll make a decision closer to the date.

“I’ve got a lot of experience, as I say, it’ll be over 14 years by the time the election comes. We’re facing very serious political issues at a national level, and that experience will be very important in the next Parliament.

“There’ll be a change of government, I’m quite confident of that. I think Labour will form some sort of government, but it ain’t going to be milk and honey just because there’s a Labour government. We’re going to need to have MPs there. We’re able to challenge the Labour government to make sure that Wales and its constituents have their voices heard.

“In that regard, I still think I’ve got a lot to offer. I think I’ve still got a lot of support locally. People are very appreciative of the work I’ve done over the years and they’re very loyal to me and I want to repay that loyalty come the election.”