Wales

Plaid AM Alun Ffred Jones to retire

Alun Ffred Jones at a supermarket
Image caption Alun Ffred Jones will stand down from the assembly at the next election

Plaid Cymru AM Alun Ffred Jones has said he will stand down at the next assembly election.

The 63-year-old politician has held a seat in the Senedd since he was first elected as the Caernarfon AM in 2003.

During his political career, he served as heritage minister during the Labour-Plaid coalition at the assembly, being appointed in 2008.

He said he wanted to quit while "still healthy and active" after a career in politics, education and teaching.

"It is an honour representing the people of Arfon and my intention is to continue the work with all my energy until the next election," he said as he announced he would stand down.

"Getting new blood with a fresh outlook is healthy in politics and we need that in the assembly.

"This is a new and exciting period for Wales with new powers for the assembly, but there is a huge amount of work to be done to revive our economy."

'Huge void'

As an assembly member, he was the heritage minister in the Labour-Plaid coalition government between 2008 and 2011.

He retained his position as AM with an increased majority at the last election.

Prior to that, he had been a senior councillor in Gwynedd, and a former council leader.

Before entering assembly politics Mr Jones had a career as a television journalist, producer and director, and was previously a Welsh teacher.

The Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood AM paid tribute to the politician, saying he would leave "a huge void" in the assembly.

"His balanced opinion, wise leadership and subtle humour have won him respect across the parties.

"He will continue to serve his electors with the same enthusiasm and energy over the next three years."

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