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Housing part of climate change ministry in new Welsh Government

Julie James retains the housing portfolio as part of a climate change super-ministry under a cabinet reshuffle announced this week.

The reshuffle follows Welsh Labour winning 30 of the 60 seats in the Senedd in the election last week.

The new climate change ministry will bring together the environment, energy, housing, planning and transport portfolios and sends a clear signal about the priorities of the new Welsh Government.

First minister Mark Drakeford said:

‘The environment will be at the heart of our decision-making. The climate change emergency has not gone away while we have been dealing with the pandemic.

‘Wales is a beautiful country with immense natural assets, which will help power our recovery and create the jobs of the future.

‘In my new government, the environment doesn’t just have a seat at the Cabinet table, it will be a consideration in all we do.’

Lee Waters, who was deputy minister for economy and transport since 2018, becomes deputy minister for climate change. His twitter feed made clear that the new ministry will also be responsible for Natural Resources Wales, biodiversity, national forest, national parks and digital.

Julie James spoke of her ambitions for post-Covid recovery in an interview with WHQ last Autumn and made links across the new portfolio in terms of planning, decarbonisation and new construction methods and her plans for a new Welsh Housing Quality Standard.

Elsewhere in the reshuffle, health minister Vaughan Gething becomes economy minister, Dawn Bowden joins the government as deputy minister for arts and sport in the economy portfolio and former housing minister Lesley Griffiths becomes minister for rural affairs and North Wales and Trefnydd.

Jane Hutt becomes minister for social justice with Hannah Blythyn as deputy minister for social partnership.

Ken Skates returns to the backbenches and will work on strengthening Labour in North Wales ahead of next year’s local government elections.

The new Welsh Government in full is:

  • 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


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