Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Wednesday, 8 June 2011 12:10 UK

First minister's questions

The first minister has attacked the Plaid Cymru leader for being away on holiday during assembly term time.

In the weekly questions session on 8 June 2011, First Minister Carwyn Jones AM said that Plaid Cymru attacks on him for inaction "take the biscuit" while their leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones AM, is on holiday in France.

Jocelyn Davies AM, standing in for the absent leader, attacked the first minister for not outlining his government's programme for the new assembly term.

Mr Jones said: "Where is your leader? You accuse us of not having any kind of programme, and your leader's not even in the chamber. I mean, I wasn't going to mention it, but really, that is taking the biscuit."

Ms Davies responded by referring to Labour's lack of a majority in the Assembly, "Thirty seats, five years, none of your members can ever be away - ever. You're the government, you have to be here, the opposition are not bound by that same reality."

Mr Jones replied: "You go on holiday. The opposition can go on holiday. Well that's all right then.

"Government backbenchers and members of the Labour party have to be here, everyone else can go on holiday in the course of the Assembly term. That's not the message we want to get across - I'm fed up of it."

In other exchanges, the first minister said that he did not want to see the devolution of broadcasting powers and would not be drawn on his government's plans for the eradiation of bovine TB.

The previous Plaid Cymru and Labour coalition government had planned to implement a controlled badger cull in West Wales.

Mr Jones said that his government would pledge to continually "consider the science regarding bovine TB".

Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black asked an urgent question on the provision of care in Welsh Southern Cross care homes.

Southern Cross announced on 1 June 2011 that it would cut the rents it pays to its landlords by 30 per cent for a four month period in order to deal with its budget deficit.

Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services Gwenda Thomas AM assured members that local authorities and local health boards, who are responsible for elderly care, have contingencies in place should they become necessary.

Theodore Huckle's appointment as chief legal adviser to the government was approved without objection in the assembly.

Plaid Cymru AMs were divided on the issue, with Simon Thomas AM for Mid and West Wales questioning Mr Huckle's credentials for the role, whilst Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM for Dwyfor Meirionydd praised the "excellent appointment."

Read this in Welsh.


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