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'A huge privilege to serve Wales': Carwyn Jones steps down as First Minister

Carwyn Jones has said that he felt "sadness in standing down, combined with pride in the work that has been achieved" as he stepped down as First Minister this afternoon.

Mr Jones announced his resignation in the Senedd after his last First Minister's Questions.

It has been a huge privilege to serve Wales in this job, and to be at the helm in a time of great challenge, a crucial time in our nation’s history.

As I prepare to hand over the reins, the feelings are bitter sweet – an experience shared I’m sure by everyone leaving a role that has been central to their lives.

Sadness in standing down, combined with pride in the work that has been achieved.

The post I hold has changed considerably since I took it on in 2009, and so has the world around us.

People were more likely to write a letter, than a tweet.

Selfies were more a thing for Paris Hilton than politicians, and arguably that should still be the case.

Perhaps more importantly, the National Assembly and the Welsh Government are very different organisations too, with more powers, more levers and higher expectations of delivery.

With these new tools, we have achieved a great deal, even in these toughest of times.

– Carwyn Jones AM, outgoing First Minister

In his resignation speech, Carwyn Jones said Wales has set examples for the world to follow.

We introduced deemed consent for organ donation.

We abolished child burial fees.

We are world leaders in recycling.

We have legislated to protect tenants and prevent homelessness.

We have ended the right to buy in Wales.

We have reformed the social care system in Wales.

– Carwyn Jones AM, outgoing First Minister

The outgoing First Minister also referenced Wales' Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas' famous mic drop as he concluded his speech.

Now, I have been told that Geraint Thomas has done the ultimate Welsh mic drop after winning the Tour de France, so I won’t attempt to finish in quite the same way…

Instead, I’ll just say “thank you” to everyone here, but most importantly to the people of Wales I have had the honour to serve.

– Carwyn Jones AM, outgoing First Minister
Jack Sargeant, son of former Welsh Government Minister, Carl Sargeant, remained seated during Carwyn Jones standing ovation.

Mr Jones received a standing ovation following his speech. However, not all AMs in the chamber stood for the outgoing First Minister.

Jack Sargeant, son of former Welsh Government Minister, Carl Sargeant, remained seated.

Neil McEvoy and Mandy Jones also remained seated during the applause and did not join in.

Carwyn’s time as First Minister will be remembered for different reasons by different people and many versions of his legacy will be written up in the years to come.

Whilst we have clashed on several occasions over the years, I am confident that there is more that unites us than divides us. We all want a healthier and more prosperous Wales, and we all fight for the best interests of the people we represent.

Carwyn Jones’ successor has big shoes to fill – he was a real giant of Welsh politics. I wish him and his family well in the future.

– Paul Davies AM, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives

The First Minister will now tender his resignation to the Queen, bringing an end to nine years in power and making way for new Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford to take his place.