Assembly vote leaves Elin Jones out in the cold

Wales will have a new rural affairs minister this week after Labour confirmed its plans to govern alone, despite failing to win an absolute majority in Welsh Assembly elections on 5 May.

That means Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, Elin Jones, will not retain the rural affairs post she held up until the election.

Labour gained 30 of the 60 assembly seats and had been expected to form a coalition with one of the other political parties. But the party announced its plans for a one-party government earlier this week, which means the new minister will be drawn from its ranks.

Labour leader Carwyn Jones, who will almost certainly be confirmed as First Minister at the assembly’s first plenary session on Wednesday 11 May, is expected to select his new cabinet in the coming days.

Elin Jones had retained her Ceredigion constituency seat with a 1,777 majority, despite significant opposition from campaigners over her determination to implement a pilot cull of badgers as part of Wales’ bovine TB eradication programme.

Ms Jones’ removal from her ministerial position will cast fresh doubts on the proposed badger cull, as it remains unclear how the proposals will be taken forward under the Labour administration.

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