Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Carwyn Jones reveals new cabinet

Carwyn Jones with his cabinet outside the Welsh Assembly Government offices in Cardiff
[L-R]: Front: Edwina Hart, Jane Hutt, Carwyn Jones, Ieuan Wyn Jones, John Griffiths. Middle: Leighton Andrews, Carl Sargeant; Elin Jones, Alun Ffred Jones, Gwenda Thomas. Back: Lesley Griffiths, Huw Lewis, Janice Gregory.

Wales' new First Minister Carwyn Jones has unveiled his debut cabinet, with two new faces at the top table.

His Labour leadership campaign manager, Leighton Andrews, joins the cabinet at education, and Carl Sargeant takes on social justice and local government.

Defeated Labour leadership candidate Edwina Hart remains health minister and Huw Lewis, who also ran for the job, becomes deputy minister for children.

But Andrew Davies (finance) and Brian Gibbons (social justice) are both out.

Mr Davies, the Swansea West AM, was the manager of Mrs Hart's unsuccessful leadership bid.

CARWYN JONES'S TEAM
Carwyn Jones (Labour) - first minister
Ieuan Wyn Jones (Plaid Cymru) - deputy first minister and minister for the economy and transport
Jane Hutt (Lab) - business and budget
Edwina Hart (Lab) - health and social services
Jane Davidson (Lab) - environment, sustainability and housing
Leighton Andrews (Lab) - children, education and lifelong learning
Carl Sargeant (Lab) - social justice and local government
Elin Jones (Plaid) - rural affairs
Alun Ffred Jones (Plaid) - heritage
Deputy ministers: Lesley Griffiths (Lab)- skills, innovation and science; Jocelyn Davies (Plaid) - housing and regeneration; Gwenda Thomas (Lab) - social services; Huw Lewis (Lab) - children
Source: Welsh Assembly Government

He announced shortly after the result was announced last week that he would be stepping down as an AM at the next election in May 2011. Dr Gibbons, the AM for Aberavon, had also already announced he will leave at that election.

Mr Jones said: "I am deeply grateful for the work both Andrew and Brian put in during their time as ministers, and I know that they will continue to make a valuable contribution to the National Assembly and to Wales."

Meanwhile, Jane Hutt moves from education to become minister for budget and business.

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones will remain deputy first minister and minister for the economy and transport in the coalition government with Labour. Plaid retains two other cabinet posts under the coalition deal it struck with Labour, with Elin Jones remaining at rural affairs and Alun Ffred Jones retains his heritage post.

You don't look to reward people for anything they have done in the past and that's what I've done with this cabinet - brought together people who can offer a great deal
First Minister Carwyn Jones

Jane Davidson also keeps her environment, sustainability and housing post.

Labour's Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths becomes a deputy minister, taking on the skills, innovation and science role.

'Blend of talent'

Remaining as deputy ministers are Plaid Cymru's South Wales East AM Jocelyn Davies, who is in charge of housing and regeneration, and Labour's Gwenda Thomas, AM for Neath, who continues with her social services post.

The first formal cabinet meeting will be held next Wednesday.

Mr Jones was elected Welsh Labour leader last week, taking over from Rhodri Morgan. He was sworn into office on Thursday morning.

He said that he wanted to assemble the "best blend of talent".

"You don't look to reward people for anything they have done in the past and that's what I've done with this cabinet - brought together people who can offer a great deal, bring a lot to the table in terms of government," he said.

This cabinet bears many of the hallmarks of the old one, when what Wales needs is a government that's heading in a new direction
Nick Bourne, Welsh Conservative leader

"But I'm very happy with the talent that we have in the cabinet, both in Labour and in Plaid Cymru, and I'm sure we will continue to do a great job for the people of Wales in the future."

Mr Jones said he was looking for an early meeting with the Prime Minister.

'New start needed'

However, Conservative opposition leader Nick Bourne was critical of Ms Hutt's appointment.

"When Wales is in the middle of the worst recession it's ever seen and with budgets stretched to breaking point we are stunned the new first minister has hand-picked a minister who caused chaos in the health and education portfolios to handle business and budget," he said.

"This cabinet bears many of the hallmarks of the old one, when what Wales needs is a government that's heading in a new direction.

"A new start is needed now more than ever to promote enterprise, protect and create jobs, generate wealth, tackle climate change, and deliver first class public services.

"What we don't need is more of the same."

Plaid leader Mr Jones said the government would work towards an improvement in the lives of the people of Wales and in the economy.

"The economic renewal programme is a key aspect of that as we make the Welsh economy more resilient and sustainable going forward," he said.



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