Wales politics

Welsh Secretary David Jones out after cabinet reshuffle

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Media captionDavid Jones was told the PM wanted to refresh his team

Welsh Secretary David Jones is to be replaced in David Cameron's cabinet following a reshuffle.

After less than two years, the Clwyd West MP was told he will return to the backbenches.

Mr Jones said: "I fully understand. I told the prime minister he has my total support. I am not unhappy. It is right he should refresh his team."

His deputy, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb, is expected to replace him.

Mr Jones said anyone appointed to the cabinet knew that one day they would have this sort of conversation with the prime minister.

He said he expected the reshuffle to be bigger than anticipated with a lot of departures from government.

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, has declined to comment on the departure until a replacement has been officially announced.

Mr Jones succeeded his former Wales Office boss, Cheryl Gillan, in September 2012, and was the 16th secretary of state and the first to have been an AM, having sat in the Welsh assembly from 2002 to 2003.

A Welsh speaker, who lives with his family in Rhos-on-Sea, Mr Jones has always described himself as a "proud Welshman".

Analysis by BBC political correspondent Dan Davies

Image copyright PA

Shortly after he was appointed as Welsh Secretary, David Jones said the UK and Welsh governments had to work together for the good of Wales.

Did he achieve that ambition?

Whether you blame him or not, the two administrations have had a combustible relationship of late.

There have been furious rows about the state of public services, in particular the NHS.

They have been to the Supreme Court to sort out legal disagreements about the extent of the Welsh assembly's law-making powers.

And there is a bitter and ongoing disagreement about who will pay to upgrade south Wales' railway lines.

Such rows are probably not what David Jones had in mind when he delivered his mission statement about setting aside political differences.

Born in London to Welsh parents in 1952, Mr Jones has lived in north Wales most of his life.

He studied law and as a solicitor worked alongside Ieuan Wyn Jones, who went on to become Plaid Cymru's leader and the deputy first minister.

David Jones became a Conservative Welsh AM in 2002, filling a seat vacated by Rod Richards. He stood down at the following year's elections.

In 2005, he was elected as the MP for Clwyd West. He was a shadow minister for Wales and then a junior minister at the Wales Office, before succeeding Cheryl Gillan as Secretary of State in September 2012.

A Liverpool FC fan, he is an avid user of Twitter - except during Lent, when he abstains from social media.

As Welsh Secretary, he threw his weight behind proposals to build a new nuclear power plant at Wylfa on Anglesey, and supported calls to electrify the rail network in north Wales.

Mr Jones voted against UK government legislation on gay marriage and later had to clarify comments he made on the subject in an interview.

He has not always seen eye-to-eye with members of his own party in Cardiff Bay.

On devolving income tax powers to Wales, for example, he had a public disagreement with the Welsh Conservatives' leader in the assembly, Andrew RT Davies.

Before David Jones's departure was confirmed, First Minister Carwyn Jones said he wanted a "businesslike" relationship with the UK government going forward, describing Mr Crabb as "someone we can do business with".

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