Vaughan Gething announces Welsh government cabinet – including top job for leadership rival

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Vaughan Gething has announced his new cabinet, including a top job for his former leadership rival.

Mr Gething was confirmed as Wales‘s first minister on Wednesday after Mark Drakeford officially stepped down.

His leadership rival, former education minister Jeremy Miles, will now serve as cabinet secretary for the economy, energy and Welsh language.

The only other figures to leave the government, other than Mr Drakeford, are former deputy minister for social services Julie Morgan and former deputy climate change minister Lee Waters.

As well as quitting his government job, Mr Waters has deleted his X account after receiving abuse over the rollout of the default 20mph speed limit in Wales.

Ken Skates returns to cabinet for the first time since 2021 as cabinet secretary for North Wales and transport.

Lynne Neagle, who has been a member of the Senedd (Wales’s parliament) since it first sat in 1999, has been appointed Wales’s new education secretary.

While Huw Irranca Davies takes on the role of cabinet secretary for climate change and rural affairs, returning to cabinet for the first time in six years.

He takes on the role after thousands of farmers recently descended on the Senedd to protest against a new subsidy scheme, which will require farms to meet a series of environmental obligations in return for government funding.

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Vaughan Gething with his new cabinet. Pic: Matthew Horwood/Welsh government

Former rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths has been announced as the new culture and social justice cabinet secretary, while former climate change minister Julie James takes on the housing brief.

Mick Antoniw remains as counsel general, the government’s top legal job, while Eluned Morgan and Rebecca Evans keep the health and finance portfolios respectively.

‘Government drawn from all parts of Wales’

Another member of the inaugural Senedd, Jane Hutt, remains chief whip and also becomes the Trefnydd – a similar role to the leader of the House of Commons.

“I’m incredibly proud to bring together a government drawn from all parts of Wales to serve the whole of our nation, with progressive politics at its heart,” Mr Gething said.

“While there will be many challenges ahead, there are even greater opportunities. I am ambitious about the work this team will do to make Wales an even better place.”

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said it was a “continuity cabinet” which would “simply deliver more of the same in Wales”.

Read more:
Who is the new first minister of Wales?
Scale of Welsh Senedd member abuse revealed

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Hannah Blythyn and Dawn Bowden also stay on in cabinet, with Ms Blythyn remaining as minister for social partnership and Ms Bowden getting a new role as minister for social care.

Jayne Bryant joins the cabinet for the first time as minister for mental health and early years.

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