Wales politics

Lord Elis-Thomas's 12 years as presiding officer to end

Lord Elis-Thomas
Image caption Lord Elis-Thomas has been the assembly's only presiding officer since it was founded in 1999

Lord Elis-Thomas's tenure as the Welsh assembly's presiding officer is to end after 12 years in the job.

AMs will choose a presiding officer at the first plenary session on Wednesday, following last week's election.

He will chair the meeting but not be re-nominated as presiding officer - the equivalent to the Commons Speaker.

The Labour AM for Newport West, Rosemary Butler, is expected to be nominated as his successor.

The Conservatives, now the assembly's second-biggest party, want one of their members to fill the post.

Plaid Cymru AM Lord Elis-Thomas has served as the presiding officer since the assembly was established in 1999.

He was re-elected as the AM for Dwyfor Meirionnydd last week with a majority of more than 5,000.

AMs elect the presiding and deputy officers in secret ballots.

The Conservatives' interim leader in the assembly, Paul Davies, said Tory AMs William Graham and Angela Burns had expressed an interest in the post.

He said: "The firm view of the Conservative group is that the presiding officer should come from the Conservative benches."

A Plaid source said the presiding officer was expected to come from the government and that the party would not put forward a deputy.

A Labour source said Mrs Butler, deputy presiding officer in the last assembly, would have cross-party support.

Neither the presiding and deputy presiding officers participate in Senedd votes.

Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones is also likely to be nominated as first minister at Wednesday's plenary session.

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