Vale of Glamorgan Labour Assembly Member Jane Hutt – who is the oldest and longest-serving minister in the Welsh Labour Government has been eased-out of First Minister Carwyn Jones’s cabinet.
In a statement tonight Hutt – who in 2016 came within 777 votes of being kicked-out of the Assembly by Vale of Glamorgan voters – said “You have to stick to your principles in politics and keep your feet on the ground, listening to the people you serve, especially those without a strong voice.”
In standing for re-election in 2016, left-winger Hutt [real name Mrs Michael Trickey], had undertaken to serve a full term until 2021 – by which time she will be 71 years old.
JANE HUTT :BACKGROUND
1949: Hutt was born in Epsom, Surrey on December 15th 1949. She graduated from the University of Kent in 1970 with a degree in “Social & Public Administration” and went on to obtain a “Certificate of Qualification in Social Work” at the London School of Economics in 1972.
In July 1979 both Hutt and Alun Michael (later Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) became board directors of the Cardiff Broadcasting Company Ltd, Cardiff’s first – and disastrously unsuccessful – quasi-commercial radio station established on so-called “community” lines with half the board being elected by “listeners” – including political activists. Hutt – who’d been involved in the original application for the licence – was elected the Vice Chairman of the company.
Audiences plummeted,advertising revenue dried up and Cardiff residents who had been encouraged to buy shares in the venture never received a dividend. In 1986 the company had to be rescued from financial oblivion by an established commercial station – Red Rose Radio of Lancashire – which took over CBC , re-named it as Red Dragon Radio and began running the station professionally. The station’s new managing director didn’t mince his words about the demise of CBC – telling the Western Mail that it had been “ A recipe for disaster from Day One.”
In 1980 Hutt became a Labour councillor on the old South Glamorgan County Council. She later complained that in 12 years on the council she was never promoted above the position of vice-chair of a committee.
In 1981 Hutt participated at the start of the women’s march from Cardiff to Greenham Common – a protest aimed at getting the UK government unilaterally to give up Britain’s nuclear deterrent and at removing American cruise missiles from the US Airbase at Greenham.
In the 1983 General Election Hutt stood for Parliament as the Labour candidate for the Cardiff North constituency – but failed to be elected. The Labour vote collapsed by 37% and the party was pushed back into third place in the constituency.
In 1992 Hutt helped found a charity called “Chwarae Teg” of which she was appointed Chief Executive . When the Charity Commission asked ‘Chwarae Teg’ who benefitted from its work, it replied :- “Women, lone parents, employers, trade unions, training providers, local government, the Welsh Government, the European Commission and key economic development agencies”. Most of the £3,000,000 a year that it spends comes from taxpayers.
In 1999 Hutt was elected as Assembly Member for the Vale of Glamorgan constituency.
A close friend of former First Minister Rhodri Morgan and his family, she was appointed Minister of Health in the Welsh Labour Government – but was replaced in 2005 as concerns grew about hospital waiting lists.
IN 2003 she declared she was a member of the trade union UNISON and that she had received a £500 “remuneration” from that union.
She also declared that her husband Michael Trickey was a “civil servant in Cathays Park” .
In 2005 her new Ministerial brief was Minister for Assembly Business, Children and Equalities . It lasted two years.
In 2007 she divulged that her husband was now “employed by Welsh Assembly Government” and that she had received a further £500 in sponsorship from UNISON for election expenses . She was appointed Education Minister [“Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills”]. That post too lasted two years .
In 2009 she was moved to be Minister for Budget and Business.. On this appointment the BBC reported the then Conservative leader Nick Bourne as telling the First Minister he had “hand-picked a minister who caused chaos in the Health and Education portfolios to handle Business and Budget.“
- In 2011 Hutt retained the Vale of Glamorgan Assembly seat for Labour with a majority of 3,775 votes over the Conservatives.
- May 2011, Hutt was appointed Minister for Finance and Leader of the House.
- March 2013 she was appointed Minister for Finance.
- September 2014 she was appointed Minister for Finance and Government Business.
For ten years Hutt employed the salaried Vale of Glamorgan Labour councillor Anne Moore – who is the wife of Neil Moore the Labour Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council. Anne Moore worked for Hutt as her “Personal Assistant and Diary Secretary”.
Hutt’s job-definition as stated by the Welsh Government was ”Making most effective use of the Welsh Government’s budget through rigorous in-year budget monitoring and management” – but critics, particularly in the Conservative Party, claim Hutt’s performance has beebn consistently poor and essentially she failed in everything she did .
The Conservatives launched a Twitter, campaign against her: –
In November 2010 Hutt had revealed in a written answer that more £2,100,000 had been spent on desks, chairs and other furnishings at the new Welsh Assembly Government in Llandudno Junction .Welsh Conservatives called that another example of the Welsh Labour Government’s “incredible overspending and atrocious budget management”.
In 2015 the Penarth AM and Conservative Leader in the Welsh Andrew R T Davies asked Hutt : “Will the Minister make a statement on Welsh Government estate management and refit costs totalling over £3,000,000 as disclosed in March 2015 expenditure costs online?”.
Hutt claimed the £3,000,000 was for “routine maintenance, repair and servicing of the buildings, plant and systems …as well as larger one-off capital spend on refurbishment” and claimed it was to “ensure ensure compliance with Health and Safety legislation”.
TO SMACK OR NOT TO SMACK
Jane Hutt was reported to be amongst an “influential cabal” in the Welsh Labour Government which wanted a ban on parents in Wales from smacking their children into the Labour Manifesto.
WalesonLine reported a well-placed Labour Party source as saying that that Carwyn Jones’s instinct has always been to oppose such a measure because “he knows full-well there are no votes in this unenforceable nonsense”.
The Labour source said the alleged “cabal” had “abused the weakness of Labour’s minority position in the Assembly in order to selfishly pursue this daft policy”.
HUTT AS A BEHIND THE SCENES KINGMAKER
Jane Hutt found that in May 2016 her support amongst Labour voters in Barry and in the Vale of Glamorgan was draining away.
She only just managed to hang on to her Vale of Glamorgan seat by a mere 777-vote majority over Conservative candidate Ross England.
After those Assembly Elections of May 2016, First Minister Carwyn Jones appeared to be in tears after a ballot of AMs to choose who would become First Minister for the Assembly’s new term ended in stalemate and a dead heat between Jones and Plaid Leader Leanne Wood.
Jane Hutt was then to be seen in the Assembly Chamber consoling Carwyn Jones as he waited to hear whether he would continue in office as First Minister.
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.
After a week of negotiations in which Jane Hutt was a major player, a deal was stitched-up with Plaid Cymru to keep the Labour Party in charge of Wales for 5 years – through until 2021.
Tonight Jane Hutt said “I am leaving the Cabinet after 18 and a half years of ministerial office in health, social services, equalities, education, finance and finally as Leader of the House and Chief Whip. I have been very fortunate to be able to play my part in the founding years of the Assembly, helping to secure stability and confidence in a Welsh Labour Government throughout this time.
Guided always by my principles and values of social justice and fair play, I have taken every opportunity to help shape Policy to meet Welsh needs in the past 2 decades of devolution. You have to stick to your principles in politics and keep your feet on the ground, listening to the people you serve, especially those without a strong voice. That’s what I have always sought to do.
I will continue to serve my constituents in the Vale of Glamorgan with dedication and commitment, thankful for the support I have received from them for so many years.’