Page last updated at 08:01 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 09:01 UK

Minister won't seek re-election

Brian Gibbons
Brian Gibbons says he wants to return to GP work before retiring

Local Government and Social Justice Minister Dr Brian Gibbons has announced he is to stand down as an assembly member at the next election.

He told his Aberavon constituency party on Friday that he will not seek re-election in 2011.

Dr Gibbons, an AM since the assembly was set up in 1999, said he wished to return to work as a GP before he retires completely.

The first minister paid tribute to the AM's "outstanding" work in the cabinet.

Dr Gibbons joins a growing number of assembly members who have announced they will leave the assembly at the next election.

He has been a minister in the assembly government for nine years, serving as Deputy Minister for Health & Social Services and Economic Development & Transport before becoming Minister for Health and Social Services, briefly Minister for the Economy and Transport before moving to his current position .

He will be 61 at the time of the 2011 poll.

Brian has been a totally committed politician of the generation that delivered devolution for Wales
First Minister Rhodri Morgan

"I took the decision that I would not contest the next election some time ago," he said.

"I intend to do some re-training and hope I will be able to return to medical practice both here and overseas before I retire completely.

Dr Gibbons added: "I have been privileged to represent the people of Aberavon and to serve as a minister in Rhodri Morgan's cabinet.

"I believe that Welsh Labour has transformed the fortunes of many people in Wales and although we have more to do I am proud to be have been part of the journey so far."

Rhodri Morgan said: "Brian has been a totally committed politician of the generation that delivered devolution for Wales.

Great servant

"He has been an excellent and outstanding member of the cabinet, both as health minister and as minister for social justice and local government.

"I fully understand Brian's wish to return to the medical profession that he loves before he retires. His patients' gain will be the assembly's loss".

Aberavon MP Hywel Francis said Dr Gibbons "has been a great servant" to the Aberavon constituency and to the whole of Wales through his work in the Welsh Assembly Government.

"He and I have worked closely on behalf of local communities and I am sure he will continue to do so after standing down as an AM in 2011," he added.

A Welsh Labour spokesperson said: "Dr Gibbons has made a significant contribution to helping Welsh Labour build a better Wales.

"He has also been a tremendous constituency AM and we know that he will continue this good work until the next election. We thank him for the work he has undertaken and we wish him well for the future".

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