Ben Foday who stood in the May 2015 General Election as the Plaid Cymru candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth has died at the age of 72.
It’s understood that Mr Foday had a suffered from ill-health for several months and died at in Cardiff on Saturday April 9th at the Heath Hospital. He was originally from Sierra Leone but had lived in Butetown for many years.
A former Labour member of Cardiff Council, Mr Foday left the Labour Party to join Plaid Cymru and contested the Cardiff South and Penarth seat in the May 2015 General Election.
Ben Foday took an active role in his General Election campaign – speaking at election hustings meetings in Stanwell School, the Penarth Woodcraft Folk hustings at All Saints and at the Cytun hustings in St Mellons and at Trinity Church Penarth.
It was at the latter meeting Mr Foday controversially criticised same-sex marriage legislation – saying it was “wrong” for it to be enacted without proper consultation. MPs – he said – should have more respect for democracy. He went on to say that, in terms of being a Christian country, he had read the comments of a noted legal figure who when considering a “similar topic” who had asked “Who am I to condemn?” . However “personally” – Mr Foday had said – “I am very against it”.
At the Cytun hustings meeting three gay candidates were sharing the platform with Mr Foday ( See http://tinyurl.com/js4tfka ). Mr Foday’s remarks caused widespread controversy and he later retracted his comment.
At a later stage of the election campaign Mr Foday called for the prosecution of the disgraced and now dead Labour peer Lord Janner in respect of 22 offences Janner had allegedly committed against 9 children .
In a radio debate during the election campaign Mr Foday had also re-affirmed independence was Plaid Cymru’s “long-term aim – to try to get independence for the Welsh nation” .He said Plaid Cymru was “not imposing that on people . When that time comes, that the people themselves say they want their independence from the United Kingdom – that’s what we’re talking about.”
Today Plaid Cymru’s Cardiff South group posted a message on Twitter today saying : “Very sad news this morning. RIP Ben.”
Plaid Cymru chair, Dafydd Trystan Davies wrote: “Very sad to hear that Ben Foday has passed away – principled, committed with a great sense of humour. Our community has lost a legend! RIP”.
Mr Foday’s funeral is to be held at St Mary’s Church in Canton on a date to be announced.