Elin Jones’ future as rural minister in doubt

Wales’ rural affairs minister Elin Jones has held onto her seat in the Welsh assembly elections, but her future in the cabinet is in doubt as Labour looks set to gain outright control.

Although counting is still underway in North Wales, Labour is hoping to win 31 seats to give it a majority.

If it does, the One Wales coalition with Plaid Cymru that took Elin Jones into government will come to an end. Labour would ditch Plaid Cymru, its coalition partner for the past four years.

This would mean an end to Ms Jones’ position as rural affairs minister. She has been a keen proponent of the pilot cull of badgers in Pembrokeshire.

A farmer’s daughter with a masters degree in agricultural economics, Ms Jones has been accused of being too close to the farming community.

But she retained the Ceredigion National Assembly seat she has held since 1999, even though she was expected to lose votes because of her decision to proceed with the trial cull of badgers.

The badger cull is currently the most contentious and divisive issue in the British countryside and it could have cost Plaid Cymru seats outside Ceredigion. Deputy leader Helen Mary Jones lost her seat in Llanelli.

On her Twitter page earlier this morning, Elin Jones was philosophical about the future. “We lost the chance to break Labour’s hold on Wales in 2007. Libs bottled it and three parties suffering now. Nothing lasts forever,” she tweeted.