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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 May, 2003, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Labour's assembly cabinet named
Karen Sinclair
Karen Sinclair has been promoted in the reshuffle

Welsh assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan has finalised his cabinet, which includes two AMs from north Wales and the reappointed Health Minister, Jane Hutt.

The nine-strong Labour cabinet contained the surprise inclusion of Karen Sinclair as Minister for Assembly Business.

Ms Sinclair, the AM for Clwyd South, was Labour chief whip in the last assembly term, but has been a low-profile member.

Joining her is another north Wales newcomer to the cabinet, Clwyd West AM Alun Pugh, who has been appointed minister for culture, sport and languages of Wales.

Under-fire Jane Hutt has been reappointed health minister despite criticism over her handling of hospital waiting lists.

New Labour cabinet
First Minister Rhodri Morgan
First Minister: Rhodri Morgan
Education: Jane Davidson
Assembly Business: Karen Sinclair
Economic Development and Transport: Andrew Davies
Environment and Rural Affairs: Carwyn Jones
Finance and Local Government: Sue Essex
Social Justice: Edwina Hart
Culture, Sport and Languages of Wales: Alun Pugh
Health: Jane Hutt

Ms Hutt said that she had received a vote of confidence from Rhodri Morgan and the people of Wales, adding that her reappointment was "one in the eye for her detractors".

She said: "People in the NHS wanted continuity, not change."

Mr Morgan created a new position in the all-Labour cabinet in the shape of social justice minister.

Former Finance Minister Edwina Hart has been handed the job, which will cover areas including community safety, police, fire, and anti-poverty measures.

Elsewhere, Jane Davidson has been reappointed as education minister in Rhodri Morgan's cabinet - Ms Davidson said she had "always loved the portfolio" and was "delighted".

New duties

Andrew Davies has also kept his post as economic development minister, although he will also take on transport and knowledge exploitation duties.

Carwyn Jones has been handed the environment, planning and rural affairs portfolio and Sue Essex will be minister for finance, local government and public services

The governing coalition had previously been made up of a cabinet of seven Labour and two Liberal Democrat ministers, before Rhodri Morgan announced he would be casting the coalition aside following Labour's election gains.

Following Karen Sinclair's appointment, Tory leader Nick Bourne welcomed the appointment of a north Wales AM into the cabinet.

Labour group
There are now 30 Labour AMs in the Welsh assembly

Ms Sinclair said she thought it was a good thing for the perceptions of north Walians, but did not think people in the area had been short-changed in any way.

"We have all worked very very hard for north Wales since 1999 and will continue to do so anyway," she said.

She will also continue as Labour chief whip.

Unchanged trio

Mr Morgan was formally elected First Minister on Wednesday, promising open government for all.

Plaid Cymru AM Dafydd Elis-Thomas was re-appointed presiding officer unopposed, and independent John Marek was narrowly elected as his deputy, completing an unchanged trio of figureheads.

This gives Labour a slim but effective working majority to strengthen its hand in the second assembly government at Cardiff Bay.




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ANALYSIS
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FROM OUR ARCHIVE

KEY PLAYERS
Profiles of the leaders of the main political parties
 
PARTY WEBLINKS
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PARTY CONST REGN +/- TOT
LAB
30
0
2
30
PC
5
7
-5
12
CON
1
10
2
11
LD
3
3
0
6
OTH
1
0
1
1
After 40 of 40 constituency seats
After 5 of 5 regions declared


SEE ALSO:
Culture role for Pugh
08 May 03  |  North West Wales
Business portfolio for northern AM
08 May 03  |  North East Wales


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