Carwyn Jones throwing in the towel at this afternoon’s Labour Party conference in Llandudno

Carwyn Jones, the Welsh Labour Government’s beleaguered First Minister, has told the Welsh Labour conference in Llandudno today that he is to quit as Labour Leader and First Minister this Autumn.

Still swirling around Carwyn Jones is the scandal regarding his abrupt and arbitrary decision to dismiss  Labour minister Carl Sargeant last November in the light of unproven allegations of sexual misconduct – a move regarded as having led directly to Mr Sargeant’s suicide just four days later.

Carl Sargeant in one of his last appearances at the Welsh Assembly. His untimely suicide four days after being arbitrarily sacked as a minister by Carwyn Jones triggered a train of events ending with Carwyn Jones himself being forced to step down  and resign as Welsh Labour First Minister.

A formal inquiry promised by Labour into the circumstances leading to Mr Sargeant’s dismissal – and ultimately his suicide – has still not begun.  That left Carwyn Jones being accused of foot-dragging and delaying tactics – the latest example of which was his woefully-misjudged letter threatening legal action against Elin Jones, Presiding Officer of the Welsh Assembly, were she to permit a  Conservative debate  on the failure to publish the results of an earlier inquiry into the Sargeant affair.

Presiding Officer Elin Jones brusquely wrote back a curt three-line reply telling ex-barrister Carwyn Jones she was “not persuaded of his arguments” and would allow the debate to  to go ahead.  It was a sure sign – if any were needed – of Jones’s waning authority. His subsequent failure to actually put in an appearance at the contentious debate triggered further criticism.

Carwyn Jones also found himself being accused of rank hyprocrisy. After having championed Welsh Government legislation banning parents in Wales from smacking their children, he admitted in an interview only this week that, as a parent,  he HAD smacked his own children.

Labour Leader Carwyn Jones was visibly upset at failing to be re-elected First Minister in 2016 – lending credence to Alun Cairns’s allegation of his obsession with power. Unkind critics called him “Cry-Baby Carwyn”

Carwyn Jones frequently lashed out at his opponents both within and without the Assembly debating chamber, but insiders said although the First Minister was fond of dishing-out verbal punishment, he didn’t like being on the receiving end. Whenever his critics hit back, he couldn’t take it. In  2016 he appeared to be in tears and visibly upset in the Assembly chamber when he failed on the first ballot to be re-elected as  First Minister.

But it was the constant drip of the Carl Sargeant affair which continued erode confidence in Carwyn Jones and his ability to carry on heading a chaotic Welsh Labour Government – a government in which everything appeared to circulate around him and his tightly-knit group of special advisers.

This year, almost every media interview that Carwyn Jones gave, began with a question about how soon he intended to resign. Even yesterday he was still  in apparent denial – claiming he would carry on as First Minister for some time to come – when most people in the Labour Party had already decided his time was up.

A “Refugees Welcome” banner held up by First Minister Carwyn Jones at a Wales v Israel match. It did nothing to quell Labour supporters’ concerns about immigration. The First Minister also opposed the overwhelming vote of the people of Wales to Leave the EU.

For Carwyn Jones, today’s decision to call it quits finally brings a long-overdue end to a thoroughly undistinguished career.

After ten years “in charge” of Wales, Carwyn Jones is leaving a shameful legacy behind him; –  a Wales which is still the poorest nation in the UK, a Wales which has the lowest educational performance in the UK and a Wales with the worst-performing NHS in the UK.

Muted, dutiful applause for Carwyn Jones from some – but by no means all – Labour members at the Llandudno conference. Anne Jones (Labour Vale of Clwyd) brushed away a tear.

There will now be a contest for the leadership of Welsh Labour Party with all the “usual  suspects” in the frame – including Vaughan Gething, the AM for Cardiff South and Penarth who is currently the Welsh Labour Government’s much-criticised health minister.

The matter is expected to be resolved in the party conference in September.




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  1. Mr Mike Travers says:

    Can every PDN reader say a prayer that Vaughan Gething does not become Labour leader and the First Minister. Police guards 24/7 at Penarth Heights 😦
    Could we have someone who is not legally trained, more like a real person?

  2. Nigel Bull says:

    His lack of respect for the institution, fellow members and the electorate has finally caught up with him. His will leave disgraced after clinging onto the forlorn hope that this will end well, it will not. It is a sad day when a fellow member of the Labour party should say such a thing with some conviction. If there had been any sort of real opposition, he would have been driven out long ago. That he lasted so long is a reflection of what the bay has become. I will remember him for his pathetic dismissal of a serious question about health service failings posed by the North Wales AM Janet Finch Saunders, a decent honest Tory who is not one to try to score cheap political points, due to her getting a little tongue tied. She deserved better, The Assembly deserved better and the people that she represented, certainly deserved better. It was not a court of law Carwyn, but the court of public opinion has now judged you. Do not wait, go now.

  3. Peter Church says:

    I probably am not alone in saying good riddance!
    As others have said he has brought disrespect on the Assembly, Welsh politics and the Labour Party. The only person he cares about is himself.

  4. John Powell says:

    The choice of successor is poor (it is actually in all parties), my money’s on Irranca but VAughan Gething really mess to assess his accomplishments modestly and go on to do something else, his record in health has done for him politically.

  5. Jackieg says:

    Good riddance!

  6. Alan King says:

    To all those who are so ready to criticise – If you can do better than our current AMs please do stand in the next assembly elections .

Comments are closed.