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Carwyn Jones set to step down as First Minister

Carwyn Jones will stand down as First Minister on Tuesday. Credit: ITV Wales

He's spent nine years as Wales' top politician, but Carwyn Jones is set to step down as First Minister to make way for a new leader.

Mr Jones is expected to announce his resignation in the Senedd after his last First Minister's Questions.

He announced he would be standing down back in April at the Welsh Labour conference in Llandudno, but it was only last week that his successor was announced.

As his days in office came to a close, he spoke to our political reporter Owain Phillips about the highs and lows of office. One of his notable achievements of the past nine years was the passing of the Human Transportation Act, which brought in the 'opt out' organ donation system in Wales.

Mr Jones at the official sealing ceremony for the Human Transplantation Bill in 2013. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Archive/PA Images

When you do something which means that people are literally alive because of something that's been done here, I don't think you can ask for more than that. The fact that we know there are more people who will have transplants as a result, organ transplants, will be able to live much longer lives as a result as well and that's the real stand out piece of legislation for me.

– Carwyn Jones AM

Another was the 2011 referendum which led to the National Assembly receiving more powers, and he confessed he was surprised at the enthusiasm of the voters to get those powers.

If you'd said to me back in 2009, we'd have a tax-varying, law-making parliament, which is what we've got, I'd have been surprised. When I started as First Minister, we couldn't make our own laws. We had to ask Westminster for permission, that's how long ago that was.

– Carwyn Jones AM

Mr Jones told ITV News that he thinks there's still work to do on local government, and he believes current structure doesn't work. He'd like to see more local authorities working together to provide services like they already do with education, but reorganisation proposals that have been published in the past aren't necessarily the answer.

Mr Jones replaced Rhodri Morgan as First Minister in 2009. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images

He admitted that the death of former minister Carl Sargeant had left a shadow over the government over the past year, saying that it had been 'very difficult for everyone involved, particularly for the family.'

It's been there as something that's affected many many people and you know, you wouldn't be human if it didn't affect you.

– Carwyn Jones AM

His advice for the next First Minister is to set a limit on how long they will do the job and find a balance between work and home life, something he struggled to do.

Try and get yourself some balance as well, don't take the job home with you. Try and make some time for yourself, it will make you a more effective person, I was bad at doing that.

Being able to leave it to one side, do something else and then come back refreshed, that's something I've been bad at in the nine years I've been First Minister. I don't think you have to be active all the time, every single day, all day and all night in order to be effective, that's another trap I fell into and that's not the way it should be.

– Carwyn Jones AM

When asked if he regretted spending so much time away from home during his tenure, Mr Jones said 'yes, but it's part of the job.'

So what does the future hold? Mr Jones said he's had people wishing him a happy retirement, but says at 51 he can't retire just yet. He's already said he won't stand for re-election in Bridgend in the 2021 Assembly elections. He'll stay on the back benches until then.

Mr Jones has held the Bridgend seat since 1999. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

I said I wouldn't stand again. You can't stay in the Assembly, you have to move on for your own sake and also for your successor to give them some space. And who knows? Let's see what happens. I wouldn't say I'm leaving politics, but it has to be in a different role now. I've got earn a living first, so the first thing to do would be to look at how I'll do that. What job do you do after doing this job? We'll have to wait and see.

– Carwyn Jones AM

Mr Jones didn't rule out a move to the House of Lords, but said he had no intention to head back to the court room.

You can see the interview on tonight's Sharp End at 10.45pm.