Wales

Leighton Andrews resignation letters

Resignation letters were exchanged between First Minister Carwyn Jones and Leighton Andrews early on Tuesday evening.

Mr Andrews resigned following a row over his defence of a school which faced closure under his own surplus places policy.

He had been seen holding a banner in support of Pentre Primary School in his Rhondda constituency.

First Minister Carwyn Jones failed to defend him from opposition claims he undermined his own policy.

Letter from Leighton Andrews AM

Dear Carwyn

It has been a great privilege to serve in your cabinets since your appointment as First Minister in December 2009 as firstly Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills and subsequently as Minister for Education and Skills with responsibility since May 2011 for the Welsh Language.

Image caption Leighton Andrews regretted the difficulty for the government

I have also been pleased to have had the opportunity to convene the Yes for Wales campaign on your behalf in 2011 and to contribute to the successful campaign which led to your election victory in May 2011 and to a Labour Government.

I am proud of the steps which we have taken which will strengthen the education system in Wales from schools through to higher education, including our new literacy and numeracy framework, the School Standards Act, the creation of a smaller number of stronger higher education institutions and our new HE policy, the Welsh Language strategy and the steps we are taking to establish Qualification Wales as the core of a modern qualifications system for Wales.

As you know, I have and remain passionate advocate of my Rhondda constituency, I regret that my commitment to my constituents may have led me to an apparent conflict which has led to difficulty to your government.

I therefore feel that I have no option but to offer you my resignation today.

Your Government will of course have my consistent and continuing support.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely

Leighton Andrews

Response from Carwyn Jones

Dear Leighton

Thank you for your letter. It is with great regret that I accept your resignation. I recognise very well that there is sometimes tension between the role of a Government Minister and the demands of a constituency Assembly Member. The Ministerial Code aims to define the boundaries between the two roles and, on this occasion, I believe those roles were confused.

It is for that reason, and that reason alone, that I accept your resignation as Education Minister.

Image caption Carwyn Jones said he 'very much hoped' Mr Andrews would be able to serve the Welsh government again in the future

As a Minister you have played a vital part in delivering the agenda of this Government and the previous administration. I am enormously grateful for your contribution. As Education Minister you have promoted a dynamic education agenda with a high emphasis on standards and achievements.

The impact of your approach has been to emphasise that second best can never be good enough for our children and young people. You have every reason to take pride in your achievements in government and I share that pride wholeheartedly with you.

As I said at our meeting, I have high regard for your skills and abilities and very much hope that you may be able to serve the Welsh Government again in the future.

I am grateful for the continuing support you have offered to the Welsh Government.

Your sincerely

Carwyn Jones

More on this story