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First Welsh Tory MP in cabinet in 25 years

David Jones is the first Welsh Conservative MP to be Secretary of State since 1987 Photo: Clive Gee/PA Wire

David Jones is a politician who has combined a long and varied career with a meteoric rise. Getting into the cabinet little more than two years after joining the government and with experience of only one department is unusually rapid progress. It's also a sign of David Cameron's determination to have a Welsh MP as Secretary of State for Wales that Mr Jones has jumped straight from the bottom rung of the ministerial ladder.

None of which means that he lacks experience. Although his political career got off to a false start in 1997 when he lost Conwy after being picked to succeed Wyn Roberts and he was similarly unsuccessful in the same seat at the 1999 Assembly election. He unexpectedly became a list AM for North Wales in 2002, when Rod Richards stood down and demonstrated a sharp and effective style as the Conservatives' Finance spokesman.

David Jones had no plans to stand again for the Assembly in 2003, preferring to take on the challenge of winning back Clwyd West for the Conservatives, which he did at the first attempt in 2005. He served as Cheryl Gillan's deputy in both opposition and government as was generally seen as a more sceptical voice about devolution than the advice she received from the party's then leader in the Assembly, Nick Bourne.

Mr Jones is now the first Welsh Conservative MP to sit in either the cabinet or shadow cabinet since Nicholas Edwards (now Lord Crickhowell) stood down as Welsh Secretary in 1987. After a quarter of a century much has changed though both men have similarly acerbic styles at the dispatch box. The new Welsh Secretary can be expected to continue with the review of how the Assembly is elected that he was closely identified with under Cheryl Gillan.

In due course, he will have to respond to the Silk Commission on the future powers and finances of the Assembly. He has pointed out in the past that it is possible for powers to be transferred back to Westminster as well as devolved to Cardiff Bay. At the age of sixty, it remains to be seen if he can expect further promotion.

Our political editor Adrian Masters interviews Mr Jones and takes a look at his career to date.

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