Carwyn Jones to quit as First Minister
Carwyn Jones has announced he will be standing down as First Minister of Wales.
Carwyn Jones was the third First Minister, taking office on the 9th December 2009.
The announcement has been made today at the Welsh Labour party conference in Llandudno, with Mr Jones expected to stand down later this year with a new leader expected to be in place by the end of the year.
Vaughan Gething and Ken Skates have both been widely tipped to succeed Mr Jones if he was to stand aside at any point, or not stand for re-election, with Mark Drakeford also currently high in the bookmakers lists.
ITV’s Adrian Masters reported from the conference:
No, I’m told cabinet members weren’t forewarned.
— Adrian Masters (@adrianmasters84) April 21, 2018
With the BBC’s Nick Servini reporting:
Welsh Gov cabinet members had no idea Carwyn Jones stepping down #WelshLab18 but I’m told he’s been thinking about it since September.
— Nick Servini (@NickServini) April 21, 2018
The First Minster presented a long speech to the conference, but wrapped up by presenting a list of achievements, and then saying: “And what of the future? Conference, you don’t need me to remind you what tough times we have been through together since the last time we met here in Llandudno.
This is my 9th Conference speech as your leader. You know me pretty well by now.
Together we have achieved stunning victories, often against the odds.
Yes, we’ve had some disagreements along the way, but I hope that when you look at me you see someone who doesn’t just believe in fairness as a watchword for Government, but as a code for daily life.
That is the kind of upbringing I was given by my mam and dad.
It drove me in my work in the courts of law.
It is the kind of lesson I try to instil at home now.
And it is certainly what I have always aspired to as your leader, someone who values fairness above all else, perhaps sometimes to my own detriment.
Maybe turning a blind eye, or playing favourites is the smarter, easier political road to travel. But, that’s just not who I am.
But, there are people I haven’t been fair to in recent times. And that is my family.
In any normal political career, you expect to be put through the ringer, and even have your integrity challenged. I don’t think anyone can know what these last few months have been like. No-one that is, apart from Lisa and the kids. They have carried me through the darkest of times. I have asked too much of them, and it is time for me to think about what’s fair for them.
And so, this will be the last Welsh Labour conference I address as party leader.
I intend – as I’ve always maintained – to be here to give every answer to every question. But I intend to stand down in the autumn, allowing for a new First Minister to take place by the end of this year.
At that point it will make sense to have a fresh start. For my family, for my party and for my country.
I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together so far. The election victories. The landmark legislation. A better deal for nurses, for students and our businesses. Putting Wales on the map.”
He then later signed off by saying: “And so Conference from me goodbye, and thanks. Cymru am byth. Llafur Cymru am byth. Wales for ever, Welsh Labour forever.”
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