Labour Senedd member decided to ‘step away’ from government before reshuffle
A Labour Senedd member has said he decided to “step away” from government before a reshuffle by the First Minister.
Ken Skates, who was recently re-elected to represent Clwyd South, has been replaced as Economy Minister by former Health Minister Vaughan Gething.
Mark Drakeford has made sweeping changes to his cabinet following Welsh Labour’s election victory and his reappointment as First Minister.
Ken Skates has said he will “continue to be a loyal supporter” of Drakeford and his government and that his decision will enable him to focus on “local matters”
He said: “Being re-elected as Member of the Senedd for Clwyd South is a huge honour. It has been a privilege to work with constituents over the last ten years to improve and champion our area, and I will continue to work as hard as I possibly can.
“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.
“Clwyd South has always remained my number one priority, and my decision will enable me 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.”
He added: “I will continue to be a loyal supporter of First Minister Mark Drakeford and our Welsh Labour Government from the back benches.
“Above all, I will spend the next five years focusing relentlessly on helping the people and communities of Clwyd South as the local Member of the Senedd.”
The First Minister said: “Ken has been a real strength in Cabinet and a voice for North Wales. He will continue speaking up for North Wales and for Welsh Labour but in a different role. We will miss his energy and passion.
“Vaughan becomes Economy Minister at a crucial point in time – the pandemic is not just a public health emergency but also an economic one.”
The Cabinet in full
Mark Drakeford – First Minister
Mick Antoniw – Counsel General designate and Minister for the Constitution
Rebecca Evans – Minister for Finance and Local Government
Vaughan Gething – Economy Minister
Dawn Bowden – Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, and Chief Whip
Lesley Griffiths – Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd
Jane Hutt – Minister for Social Justice
Hannah Blythyn – Deputy Minister for Social Partnership
Julie James – Minister for Climate Change
Lee Waters – Deputy Minister for Climate Change
Jeremy Miles – Minister for Education and the Welsh Language
Eluned Morgan – Minister for Health and Social Services
Julie Morgan – Deputy Minister for Social Services
Lynne Neagle – Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing