News just in - Jenny Randerson to step down at the next Assembly elections.
Here's her statement, analysis to follow later:
"I have this weekend informed my local party executive that I do not intend to seek re-election in the Assembly Elections next May.
This has not been an easy decision to make but after 12 years as AM for Cardiff Central, I believe it will be time to move on and find new challenges.
While I made this decision some months ago, I felt it was important to get the General election out of the way before making this announcement to allow my local party to focus completely on the job at hand.
I am delighted that I am making this announcement just days after we entered Government at a UK level with a strong reforming and liberal agenda.
The Lib Dems entering UK government is something that I have been fighting for, for decades and I’m really pleased to be starting the process of handing over the baton with a feeling of “job done.”
I do not intend to retire from politics completely and believe I have more to contribute however I also plan to have more time to spend with my young granddaughter and the rest of my family.
It has been, and continues to be, a huge privilege to represent Cardiff Central. It would be hard to find a more diverse and vibrant place to live and represent. I have been an AM throughout the development of the Assembly and I have enjoyed helping to develop it as an institution.
I have been lucky enough to have one of the most rewarding jobs imaginable and I continue to enjoy every single day of it.
Enormous thanks must go to the Cardiff Central team of Lib Dem activists and to my staff who have worked hard to support me. I give my promise to my constituents that I will continue to work as hard as ever on their behalf in the remaining year of my term as an AM."
Kirsty Williams response:
“Jenny has been a devoted and hard working Assembly Member and an integral part of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. Her devotion to her constituents and to Welsh devolution cannot be underestimated and I was proud when she was the first private member to pass a Welsh law in the Assembly.
“Her contribution to the party and Welsh politics has been considerable, first as a councillor in Cardiff and for the past decade, as an Assembly Member. As Culture Minister, she was responsible for implementing Iaith Pawb, the language strategy supporting and encouraging the Welsh language and establishing the Wales Millennium Centre. Jenny was also the first female Welsh Liberal Democrat to serve as a Welsh Minister in the Cabinet.
“Among these achievements in government, Jenny’s lasting legacy will be her own legislation to ensure that school children in Wales are provided with healthy school meals and the fact that across Cardiff Central, there are many hundreds of people for whom she has made life better."
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