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21 April 2018updated 09 Jun 2021 9:40am

Carwyn Jones to quit as First Minister of Wales

He says he will stand down in the autumn.

By Dulcie Lee

Carwyn Jones has announced that he will stand down as Wales’ First Minister in the autumn.

The surprise announcement by the Bridgend AM came at the Welsh Labour party conference in Llandudno, during which he said his exit would give his family, his party, and the country “a fresh start.”

Jones’s decision to quit means Wales will have a new First Minister at the start of December. Possible contenders include Mark Drakeford and Vaughan Gething.

The First Minister has been under significant pressure recently since former AM Carl Sargeant was found dead in November last year, four days after he was sacked from his ministerial post over harassment allegations. Referring to Sargeant’s death, Jones said the last few months had been the “darkest of times”.

Opposition parties criticised Wales’ Labour-led government this week for blocking the publication of an inquiry into claims that Sargeant’s sacking was leaked days before his death.

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Addressing the party conference, Jones said: “It’s time for me to think about what’s fair to them [my family]. This will be the last Welsh Labour conference I address as party leader.

“I intend to stand down as your leader in the autumn allowing for a new first minister to take their place by the end of this year.

“By that point it will make sense to have a fresh start for my family, my party and my country.”