A Labour AM says she cannot understand why the National Assembly's website states she was educated at a university that does not exist.
The website entry for Irene James states, 'Born in 1952, and was first elected to the Assembly on May 1 2003. She lives in Cwmcarn, Islwyn. Educated at West London University, she is a special needs teacher at Risca Primary School. Agent to Don Touhig MP at last general election. Main interests are jobs, education and health.'
Irene James, who has been AM for Islwyn since 2003, said she would be contacting Assembly officials to get the incorrect information removed.
Yesterday a spokeswoman for the Assembly Parliamentary Service said, 'The information on the website was provided by AMs themselves, or by their parties.'
A longer biographical entry about Ms James in the authoritative reference book The Wales Yearbook 2005 states, 'A miner's daughter, she was educated locally and trained at West London University [...] Currently resident in Cwmcarn, she has lived the majority of her life in the constituency. A trained music teacher, as a teenager she played the oboe in Monmouthshire Youth Orchestra and still plays piano today. She is a member of the Transport and General Workers Union and the National Union of Teachers and her main political interests include the NHS, education and job creation. Away from politics, she is a keen gardener (flowers, not vegetables) and enjoys walking her dog, Angus.'
Dr Denis Balsom, editor of The Wales Yearbook, said, 'Our entry on Irene James is a composite from websites including the Assembly's and a conversation our researcher had with her researcher.'
West London University does not make an appearance on the website of universities clearing house UCAS. A spokeswoman for the umbrella body Universities UK said, 'There is no institution that goes by the name West London University.'
Ms James told the Western Mail, 'I can't understand where the reference to West London University came from. I did my teacher training at Borough Road College in London.'
She confirmed that the other published biographical information was accurate.
Later she issued a statement saying, 'There is a mistake on the Assembly website. I was educated at Borough Road Teacher Training College in West London. I have contacted the relative department and asked that the mistake be rectified.
'I am proud of the education I received at Borough Road, which set me up for a long standing career in teaching of over 28 years.'
At the Assembly elections in 2003, Ms James defeated the former Plaid Cymru AM Brian Hancock with a hefty majority of 7,320 votes. She caused controversy in her victory speech by launching an outspoken attack on Welsh nationalism.