THE funeral of Newport's South Wales East Conservative MS Mohammad Asghar will take place tomorrow, with a procession through the city, ahead of a private burial service.

Mr Asghar, known to many as 'Oscar', died suddenly on June 16, aged 74.

The carriage-led funeral procession will begin at 10am, at the Newport Central Mosque in the city's Commercial Road.

It will make its way to Mr Asghar's office at 24 Corporation Road, where it will pause before proceeding to his constituency office at 15-17 Church Road. There will then be a private family service.

A message posted on Mr Asghar's Facebook page states that anyone who would like to pay their respects - subject to following the two-metre social distancing guidelines - is welcome to do so on the route.

Fulsome tributes were paid Mr Asghar after his death, which was described as a "devastating blow" by Paul Davies MS, leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament.

Matthew Evans, leader of the Conservative Group on Newport City Council, said he was "deeply shocked and saddened".

Mr Asghar was first elected to the then Welsh Assembly in 2007, representing Plaid Cymru, and in late 2009 he became the first Assembly Member to cross the floor, joining the Conservatives, for whom he was re-elected in 2011 and 2016 for the South Wales East region.

Many of Mr Asghar's fellow Members of the Senedd members - across the political spectrum - also paid tribute, including First Minister Mark Drakeford, who said Mr Asghar combined “the personal and the political in a way that was unique to him, and that will be uniquely missed”.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, said Mr Asghar was “generous and genial” and “a people person”.

Conservative colleague Nick Ramsay said Mr Asghar was “a proud British Muslim who loved and respected all faiths, and they respected him”.