The Vale of Glamorgan Labour Assembly Member Jane Hutt has emerged as a key figure in the formation of the new Labour-run Welsh Assembly Government – a government expected to take office today after a week of stalemate.
Hutt was seen to be a close confidante of Labour former First Minister Carwyn Jones a week ago when he waited for the result of the ballot conducted by AMs last week to decide whether he would continue in office.
The result of that ballot was an inconclusive dead-heat with Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood – a thunderbolt turn of events which appeared to leave Carwyn Jones weeping in his seat, his authority and public image in tatters.
Today the AMs will vote again for their choice of First Minister – but after a week of negotiations, a deal has now been stitched-up with Plaid Cymru to keep the Labour Party in charge of Wales for what could be another five years – through until 2021.
The Labour Party has already been in power in the Welsh Assembly for 17 unbroken years – even though its support amongst voters has steadily declined over that period.