Penarth’s Huw Lewis – the former Minister for Education and Skills in the Welsh Labour Government – is being paid a total of £51,824 under an Assembly “resettlement grant” for members who’ve lost or stood-down from their seats .
Lewis stood down as an Assembly Member in April this year and said he would not seek re-election in May’s Assembly Elections.
He had represented Merthyr and Rhymney since 1999 and was appointed Education Minister in the Welsh Government in 2013 where he wrestled with the problems of trying to improve primary and secondary education in Wales after devastatingly-bad international PISA tests showed schools in Wales falling behind those in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland in Maths, Reading and Science. He had once hoped to become First Minister and had been an unsuccessful candidate for the leadership of the Welsh Labour Party in 2013.
The payment to Lewis comprises a “basic resettlement grant” of £41, 338 and a £10,487 “office-holder resettlement grant” making a total of £51,824.
Huw Lewis’s wife, Lynne Neagle, a former research assistant for Glenys Kinnock, was re-elected as the Labour Assembly member for Torfaen .Their decision to set up home in Penarth with their two children rather than live in his – or her – constituency, had attracted critical comment.
Overall 18 former AMs who left the Assembly in April have shared a total of £825,000 from a “resettlement” scheme. The largest grant was £64,878, which was given to former Economy Minister Edwina Hart.