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Minister's resignation is 'matter of great regret' says Shadow Welsh Secretary

Leighton Andrews has been one of the most effective and committed Ministers in the Welsh Labour Government and it’s a matter of great regret that he has felt it necessary to resign due to a conflict between his role as Education Minister in the Assembly Government and as a constituency AM. However, I know Leighton will continue to represent his Rhondda constituents robustly and passionately and will remain an excellent advocate for Welsh Labour values in the National Assembly.**

– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary

Andrews resignation 'catastrophic' - Hain

Former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain describes the resignation of Leighton Andrews as 'catastrophic for Welsh Labour.' Fellow Welsh Labour MP Wayne David also tweeted that he was 'flabbergasted.' Even Conservative MP Alun Cairns paid tribute to Mr Andrews.


Twitter reaction to Leighton Andrews resignation

First Minister's reply

Dear Leighton

Thank you for your letter. It is with great regret that I accept your resignation. I recognise very well that there is sometimes tension between the role of a Government Minister and the demands of a constituency Assembly Member. The Ministerial code aims to define the boundaries between the two roles and, on this occasion, I believe those roles were confused. It is for that reason, and that reason alone, that I accept your resignation as Education Minister.

As a Minister you have played a vital part in delivering the agenda of this government and the previous administration. I am enormously grateful for your contribution. As Education Minister you have promoted a dynamic education agenda with a high emphasis on standards and achievement. The impact of your approach has been to emphasise that second best can never be good enough for our children and young people. You have every reason to take pride in your achievements in Government and I share that pride wholeheartedly with you.

As I said at our meeting, I have high regard for your skills and abilities and I very much hope that you may be able to serve the Welsh Government again in the future. I am grateful for the continuing support you have offered to the Welsh Government.

Yours sincerely

Carwyn Jones

Education Minister's resignation letter

Dear Carwyn,

It has been a great privilege to serve in your Cabinets since your appointment as First Minister in December 2009 ... I have also been pleased to have had the opportunity to convene the Yes for Wales campaign on your behalf in 2011 and to contribute to the successful campaign which led to your election victory in May 2011 and to a Labour Government.

I am proud of the steps which we have taken which will strengthen the education system, including our new literacy and numeracy framework, the Schools Standards Act, the creation of a smaller number of stronger higher education institutions and our new higher education policy, the Welsh Language strategy and the steps we are taking to establish Qualifications Wales as the core of a modern qualifications system for Wales.

As you know, I have [been] and remain a passionate advocate of my Rhondda constituency. I regret that my commitment to my constituents may have led me to an apparent conflict which has led to difficulty for your government. I therefore feel that I have no option but to offer you my resignation today. Your government will of course have my consistent and continuing support.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely

Leighton Andrews AM

Minister for Education and Skills


Recovery boards to run education in two councils

The Education Minister has announced the setting-up of Independent Recovery Boards to take over failing education services in two councils. Leighton Andrews had previously said he would intervene following critical reports into Merthyr Tydfil and Monmouthshire councils.

He now says that 'he can have no confidence that Merthyr will resolve these problems itself, even with support' and so its intervention board will take over the day-to-day running of the education service.

In Monmouth's case, the authority will continue to be responsible for the delivery of education services while the board oversees improvements and monitors progress.

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