Labour Leader Carwyn Jones - after hearing that he had tied with Leanne Wood in the el;ection for First Minister

Labour Leader Carwyn Jones – after hearing that he had tied with Leanne Wood in the election for First Minister

Without warning today the Labour Party – suddenly and dramatically – was forced to confront the fact that it had lost control of the Welsh Assembly and Labour Leader Carwyn Jones found that half the AMs in the Assembly did not want him to continue to serve as First Minister.

A pincer movement by all the opposing parties – except the Lib Dems – crunched the former First Minister in its claws in what had been expected to be a mere formality  – a vote confirming Carwyn Jones in his incumbent position. It didn’t work out like that.

Plaid Cymru, the Conservatives and UKIP banded together and voted for Leanne Wood instead as First Minister. The result was a deadlock – and a tie at 29 votes to 29

During the count the former First Minister sought the company of Vale of Glamorgan AM Jane Hutt

During the count the former First Minister sought the  company of Vale of Glamorgan AM Jane Hutt

It was a bitter humiliation for Labour which has long been criticised for its “smug”  attitude to opposing parties and its presumption of entitlement to run Wales .

Labour AMs had assumed that they would be running run the Welsh Government and they would be automatically placing their leader Carwyn Jones into his customary position as First Minister. It was not to be.

Plaid AM Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “The people of Wales decided by a narrow margin in terms of the number of seats, but by a hefty margin in terms of the popular vote, that they didn’t want Labour to have majority control in the National Assembly for Wales.”

Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies

Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies

Penarth AM and Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies said the Labour Party had no divine right” to assume Carwyn Jones  would be elected first minister after its share of the vote fell.

He said it was for Assembly members to explore, and discuss the best way forward for the Welsh nation, which had – for too long – fallen behind the rest of the UK.

UKIP AMs were even more forthright . A UKIP source said his party wanted to dent the level of smugness within the Labour Party” and had been pleased to support Leanne Wood in today’s vote.

Stephen Doughty speaking in Westminster Hall had heard of Carwyn Jones's plight just 10 minutes before speaking.

Stephen Doughty – speaking in Westminster Hall –  had heard of Carwyn Jones’s plight just 10 minutes earlier .

In a Westminster Hall committee hearing on steel this afternoon Stephen Doughty ( Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) almost seemed to deliver a political obituary for Carwyn Jones.

He said “I wanted also to praise Carwyn Jones, the First Minister for the  leadership he showed in recent months”

Doughty went onto say I think he [Carwyn Jones] really was  head and shoulders above and it is deeply concerning to hear in the last 10 minutes that apparently the Conservatives, Plaid and UKIP have voted together to block his reappointment as First Minister, –  which is a quite extraordinary situation when we have such crises, such as the steel crisis when we need a First Minister in Wales to get back on with tacking”

The Assembly now has 28 days to sort out some arrangements for the governance of Wales for the next 5 years.

In the contest for the Speaker or (Llywydd)'s chair the victor Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru - left) was the victor and the vanquished was veteran Lord Elis-Thomas (Plaid Cymru)

In the contest for the Speaker or (Llywydd)’s chair the victor Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru – left) was the victor and the vanquished was veteran Lord Elis-Thomas (Plaid Cymru)

There was a humiliating rebuff too for controversial veteran Plaid Cymru AM Lord Elis Thomas today when his bid to be elected Speaker – or “Llywydd“-  of the Welsh Assembly was also roundly rejected by members. The Llywydd is one of the highest-paid jobs in the Assembly and is paid a salary of £105,000 a year

The Assembly instead voted for Ceredigion AM Elin Jones to become Speaker to succeed Rosemary Butler who was stepping down after 5 years in the role.

Lord Elis Thomas (69) had officiated as Speaker in the first Assembly from 1999 to 2011 – but most AMs had evidently decided they didn’t want him back .


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  1. Andrew sarchus says:

    A couple of steps in the right direction then. Carwyn’s a disaster and it about time Labour found some opposition to its smug power. Perhaps we’ll see the scrapping of things like the bonkers £10 million spent on…wait for it….”Gender Awareness In The Workplace” now, Hoiw to gtell a lady form a gent. Oh maybe not. While we at it appoint someone else as speaker who’ll do it for a more realistic £30k. Carwyn can always set up as a land agent- didn’t he do very well with Stan the Pie recently eh!

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Absolutely delighted with somewhat foolishly naive Leeanne Wood and Plaid on this as I will support anything that removes the UKIP British Nationalists from the Welsh Assembly– so ideally- and as they have walked in to the trap-hookline and sinker-.
      The Queen will ask David Cameron to impose Direct Rule from Westminster as it will be the only option after 28 days if a Government cannot be formed.
      Expensive election re-run is unlikely and unworkable under our “biggest losers wins system.” (Illegal in England)
      The Northern Ireland Power Sharing Model as per the Good Friday Agreement would be the logical next step after about 6 months we may be able to restore some form of Welsh Democratic Devolution instead of the Banana Republic Rag Bag we have now
      Can’t say I will be sorry as at the moment Wales and Scotland are undermining the Governance and stability of the whole of the United Kingdom..

      • Kevin Mahoney says:

        Whilst valiantly trying to wade through and decipher Mr Rapiers latest disjointed almost unintelligible offering in the comments section.

        I did spot once again his criticism of the electoral system that of course was introduced for the assembly by his own beloved labour party.

        Whilst it’s always refreshing to see a labour member criticising his own party, in the interests of clarity wouldn’t it be clearer if he accompanied his criticism by highlighting that it was actually the party that he supports that was responsible for the particular voting system that reduced his esteemed party leader to blubbering like a five year old denied a packet of sweets at a supermarket checkout yesterday?

      • Philip Rapier says:

        Come on PDN try and keep up on your Dinosaur report as the rebellion is now almost Jurassic.
        UKIP Latest is – Old Clactonian Mark Reckless and Nathan Gill offered a deal to support Carwyn Jones as First Minister this afternoon in exchange for dropping Severn Bridge Tolls (BBC WALES 3.p.m.) Looks like Bedwellty kid and pantomime star Hamilton is on his way out of the UKIP Leaders chair.
        Farage doesn’t like him and probably gave Nathan a few tips after Hamilton’s abysmal performance when interviewed on BBC Wales last night by the delightfully ruthless Felicity Evans
        Plaid Cymru. Leanne Wood booked in for “kiss and make up session” with First Minister tomorrow.

      • Peter Church says:

        Come on Philip try and keep your musings of your brand of democracy coherent?
        If you had of chaired the Good Friday Agreement talks it would have ended more like the Long Good Friday, just to get away from your ramblings.

    • Lindsay says:

      Not just Welsh Assembly dinosaurs Christopher!

  2. The Tax payer says:

    God get a life man, Or more to the point get a job and pay your way in life

  3. hopenotnasty says:

    Leanne Wood before the assembly election was quite clear that no deals would be made involving Plaid, Tories and especially UKIP. The people in the Rhondda, Cardiff west will be disgusted that a phone call to Niel Hamilton asking for support as First Minister was agreed. This will not go down well with voters who gave her their trust.

    • Alwyn says:

      I presume that you bugged this phone call? What was actually said was the same as was said to Labour – that because of Carwyn’s refusal to postpone the vote, Plaid would be putting Leanne’s name forward. Neil Hamilton’s ‘spin’ on this is typical

  4. Chris Franks says:

    Plaid Cymru nominated Leanne Wood to be First Minister after Labour refused to discuss with other parties before ploughing ahead to try to form a government by themselves even though they do not have a majority. Plaid Cymru’s view is that they cannot presume they have a right to rule. The vote was tied on 29-29 after all the opposition parties, except the Liberal Democrats, decided to support her. There has been no deals or formal discussions of any kind between Plaid Cymru and any of the other parties.

    • hopenotnasty says:

      Plaid made the telephone call to Neil Hamilton for his support. This will be in political leaflets for some considerable time. Shame on Leannes Wood Plaid for dealing with Hamilton.

  5. Peter Church says:

    But Carwyn is a true statesman, so said Jane Hutt.
    31% to 34% of the popular vote, half the assembly seats and they still can’t get the statesman elected.
    Labour is a laughing stock.

  6. Timothy Hughes says:

    I think Leanne made a mistake and will learn from it. Perhaps she has been watching to much Borgan; love that series.

  7. Andrew sarchus says:

    Makes sense C Franks. Whatever you think of UKIP and I don’t support them as a party- or indeed any single party UKIP will stir it up a bit a focus some minds. After 17 years or so of feckless amateur and yes smug Labour, anyone who can give them a kicking is useful. UKIP as a party are a rag bag unelectable lot but Farrage has certainly done us all a great favour.

  8. Matt says:

    Its a storm in a teacup Plaid will bow down and support Carwyn Jones eventually which is disappointing! We need a change as up until yesterday Labour were cocksure they would continue to rule the roost at the welsh assembly and do whatever they like!

  9. cariad says:

    Labour thought they had a God given right to have Carwyn Jones as first minister, but we could not go another five years of labour running Wales.

  10. hopenotnasty says:

    I think their has been enough pandering to Plaid. Main Street parties should be clear and strong that the Welsh electorate do not want independence in any shape or form. As for an alternative government do you really think that a rainbow alliance between Plaid, UKIP, and the Tory’s will work?

  11. Mike Emery says:

    If you want to understand how big a farce this Welsh Parliament is, just read Mein Kampf, filtering out the anti-semitic stuff. The Queen really needs to shut it down.

  12. Christopher David says:

    HopeNasty – Wales, like Scotland who claim they’ll go for independence if we leave the EU cannot have independence. They’re both bankrupt. Budget deficits….remember. Sturgeon is all hot air and marketing. As Sarky sarchus infers- maybe UKIP will put a bit of stick about and focus things somewhat in this joke assembly.

Comments are closed.