Carwyn Jones speaks about a possible return to front line politics after he leaves the Senedd in May

Adrian Masters speaks to former First Minister, Carwyn Jones in the first edition of a new series, Face to Face

The former First Minister Carwyn Jones has spoken about a possible return to frontline politics after he leaves the Senedd in May. 

In the first edition of a new series of Face to Face he says that he’s been asked about standing in a future Westminster election. He says it’s unlikely but that he’s considering it. 

When he stops being a Senedd Member, Carwyn Jones will be 53, still younger than many other politicians. When I asked him what he will do next, he admits that “there are other things I want to do.”

Would those things involve a return to politics? 

“I wouldn’t stand for the Senedd again,” was his answer. “I think first of all you shouldn't go backwards and I think I've done 22 years, that’s a long time.”

He talks about the personal stresses and strains of being First Minister

What about the Westminster parliament?

“Honestly, I can't see it. Who knows? Some people have suggested it to me. But it will be a big thing really for myself, for the family in the next general election I'll be nearly 57” which, he thinks, makes it more challenging to start a new political career.

“The honest answer is, I doubt it, but you know a lot of people said to me, You should think about it. You'd have to convince my wife. The reality is, on balance the answer is probably no, but who knows.”

In the same interview he talks about the personal stresses and strains of being First Minister and dealing with family pressures such as serious illness. 

And he talks about the effect on his mental health after the death of the former cabinet minister Carl Sargeant. He says he’s been reluctant to talk about it because Carl Sargeant’s family “have gone through more” than he did.

But he says “you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t go through a period of darkness.”

You can watch the episode on February 16th at 10.45pm on ITV Cymru Wales

Medication, he says, wasn’t helpful to him but he feels he should speak about his experience so that other men in high pressure jobs are also able to talk about their own mental health.

“I think it's important to talk about these things because a lot of men have come to me and particularly said we are so grateful that you talked about this because we feel that we can't.

"What I found was, I could quite happily park that side of my character over there. When I came into work, I could function normally. It didn’t affect me at all at work and I think I could function normally. And yet when I went home, things were quite different.”

It’s a wide-ranging interview which takes in his thoughts on other leaders that he’s worked with, including the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

You can see what he thinks of him and what he makes of the way his successor has handled the cover pandemic in Face to Face, tonight at 10.45pm on ITV Cymru Wales.