FORMER Islwyn MP Don Touhig has been made a peer.

The former veterans minister, who retired as a labour MP for Islwyn earlier this year was appointed to the House of Lords as a working peer.

Mr Touhig was among more than 50 senior figures elevated to the House of Lords on Friday.

Mr Touhig, 62, of Blackwood, joined the Labour party aged just 15, and spent 45 years in politics as an MP and a Gwent county councillor.

The former parliamentary under secretary of state for Wales said the proudest moment of his 15 years as an MP was leading a successful campaign to get compensation for miners who suffered with health problems caused by years working underground.

Since winning the campaign, which was supported by the Argus, more than £50 million has been paid out to miners living in the Islwyn area.

The father-of-four and grandfather-of-three was born in Abersychan, Pontypool in 1947.

Between 1968 and 1994 he worked as a journalist and editor at the Argus’ sister paper the Free Press in Monmouthshire and later as general manager of the Free Press Group.

From 1973 to 1995 he was a councillor for Gwent county councillor before being elected as MP for Islwyn in a by-election in 1995.

In 2005 he was appointed the under secretary of state for defence and minister for veterans and in 2006 was made a member of the Queen’s Privy Council.