Mark Drakeford has reshuffled his cabinet, appointing Eluned Morgan as health minister and Jeremy Miles at education, after the election last week in which Welsh Labour secured a working majority with 30 seats in the Senedd.
Morgan replaced Vaughan Gething as the minister for health and social care in the changes made today. Gething had served in the role for five years and has now been named as the economy minister, replacing Ken Skates who left the government.
“This week I informed the First Minister of my wish to step away from Welsh government. After eight years in government, now is the right time,” Skates tweeted upon leaving the cabinet.
He added that his departure from the cabinet would enable him to “spend more time in the constituency, focusing on local matters, as well as further strengthening the party’s position in north Wales and further afield”.
Miles has taken on the role of education previously held by Lib Dem Kirsty Williams as part of the arrangement between her party and Welsh Labour, which had 29 seats before the election. She announced that she was standing down as MS last year.
The reshuffle also saw Julie James take up a new cabinet position as minister for climate change, created after the party committed to put the climate crisis “at the heart of our decision-making”. Lee Waters has been appointed as her deputy.
“Great to be working with my friend Julie James MS,” Waters tweeted. “Top team to take forward our ambitions climate change agenda. First Minister has given us the tools to do the job: transport, energy, housing, planning, NRW, biodiversity, national forest, national parks and digital.”
Jane Hutt has been moved from her role as chief whip to become the newly created minister for social justice, while Dawn Bowden has left the backbenchers to become the deputy minister for arts and sport and chief whip.
“I’m honoured to be appointed to the Welsh Government as Minister for Social Justice,” Hutt wrote on social media. “We have a lot to do to respond to the trust put in us. We will meet the needs of our constituents, as we support Mark Drakeford in moving Wales out of the pandemic in a fair and sustainable way.”
“So very proud to have been asked to join the [Mark Drakeford’s] new government,” Bowden wrote on Twitter. “Thank you everyone for your best wishes. Can’t wait to get started!”
Below is the new cabinet appointed today.
Mark Drakeford: First Minister
Eluned Morgan: Minister for health and social care
Jeremy Miles: Minister for education and the Welsh language
Vaughan Gething: Economy minister
Rebecca Evans: Minister for finance and local government
Lesley Griffiths: Minister for rural affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd
Jane Hutt: Minister for social justice
Mick Antoniw: Counsel general designate and minister for the constitution
Julie James: Minister for climate change
Lee Waters: Deputy minister for climate change
Dawn Bowden: Deputy minister for arts and sport, and chief whip
Julie Morgan: Deputy minister for social services
Lynne Neagle: Deputy minister for mental health and wellbeing
Hannah Blythyn: Deputy minister for social partnership