Friday, 21 March 2008

Is Leighton Andrews Committed to the Coalition?

Assembly Government insiders are suggesting that members of First Minister Rhodri Morgan’s team are trying to undermine Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones.

On the one hand the Plaid Cymru leader’s diary is being overloaded with engagements, so he is left with no time to think.

Another is that Deputy Regeneration Minister Leighton Andrews, the Labour AM for Rhondda, is letting it be known that although his responsibilities come within Mr Jones’ Economy and Transport portfolio, he does not regard the Plaid leader as his line manager.

Instead, Mr Andrews is said to be insisting on a direct reporting line to the First Minister. The allegations, which are strongly denied by the Assembly Government, come in the wake of tensions between Labour and Plaid over when a “Yes” campaign for the next devolution referendum should be set up.

A political source, who did not wish to be identified, told the Western Mail:

Some members of the Civil Service believe that Ieuan Wyn Jones is being deliberately overloaded with diary engagements. There are days when he is working from 8am until 10pm. According to what is being said, the intention is to tie him down so much that he does not have time to think... As Deputy Regeneration Minister, Leighton Andrews is within Ieuan Wyn Jones’ Department of Economy and Transport. Yet civil servants say Leighton is making it clear that Ieuan is not his line manager, but that so far as he is concerned he reports directly to the First Minister... It seems there could be a subtle game going on, with an attempt to make sure Ieuan gets bogged down in a top-heavy schedule of engagements while having little time to reflect.
The crucial time will come with next year’s Welsh Labour leadership election to choose a successor to Mr Morgan, and whether Leighton Andrews sees himself moving from this father-son, master-pupil relationship into a possible contender [wishful thinking in the opinion of the eligible] for the role.

In the immediate aftermath of last year’s election, Mr Andrews was opposed to a deal between Labour and Plaid, although he later became converted to the coalition when it appeared to be the only option.

Welsh Tory Assembly leader Nick Bourne said, “It is clear there are tensions and differences between the two parties below the surface. But if these allegations are true, it would be absolutely extraordinary. “Leighton Andrews should be prepared to put the record straight and make it clear that he is fully committed to the coalition agreement.”

A spokesperson for Mr Jones said:
The Deputy First Minister and his private office are solely responsible for his ministerial diary and there is absolutely no involvement from either the First Minister’s office or from anywhere else in relation to his departmental responsibilities... It is the case that Ieuan’s diary is very full and that he is busy, but that has been of his own choosing because he wants to be a minister who is seen out and about, travelling the length and breadth of Wales rather than stuck behind a desk in Cardiff... As a deputy minister within the Department for the Economy and Transport, Leighton Andrews reports on a regular basis to Ieuan and keeps him fully appraised of all activities in the regeneration portfolio.
Nothing has changed. Remember this from Miss Wagstaff?

9 comments:

Miss Wagstaff 21 March 2008 at 15:11  

A nice old trick to keep your enemies busy.

Mr friendly even refuses to be my 'Facebook friend' when other government ministers are only too happy to join in on Facebook. Sounds like Leighton hasn't changed - even his Wikipedia entry is controlled by his PR man :)

Anonymous 21 March 2008 at 15:17  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 21 March 2008 at 15:18  

Leighton Andrews was initially against the One Wales Government but jumped on board when it meant he could keep his ministerial position. Huw Lewis has integrity.

Why should this junior minister be so special that he has to report direct to Rhodri Morgan?

LT 21 March 2008 at 15:35  

It's nice to know that there's life down Cardiff Bay after all. Was beginning to think that they all belong to the same party, with plotting not being common place.

Anonymous 24 March 2008 at 09:04  

Leighton Andrews' plotting makes Guy Fawkes look like a novice.

Like all good plotters, however, he has other people do his dirty work for him.

The notorious and scurrilous ARSEMBLY blog is just one example of this, with everyone in the Bay knowing that it was published by one of Leighton's little helpers - probably the one who runs a number of other websites and is no doubt the editor of his Wikipedia entry

Anonymous 25 March 2008 at 10:36  

Leighton Andrews has all of the political integrity of the infamous SDP 'Gang of Four'. Sadly, he has none of their intelect. He is a man in a hurry, but as is increasingly obvious, he has nowehere to actually go.

Labour phoney cronie 30 March 2008 at 13:23  

Is it true that Andrews has tried to find out who you are?

Anonymous 6 April 2008 at 03:37  

Ieuan is Deputy First Minister. I think that gives him the right to decline invitations.

If his diary is overloaded it says more about his competence at setting reasonable parameters for his private office to follow than it does about anything else. Although it possibly suggests that he is so weak that he feels he must accept every invitation that comes his way.

As his spokesperson said: "The Deputy First Minister and his private office are solely responsible for his ministerial diary..."

As usual, cock up not conspiracy.

Paek 12 July 2008 at 22:55  

Greetings Comrades
How dare Henry Jones-Davies compare the children of North Korea’s love for the Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, with the ridiculous situation in Wales ?
Korean children do not turn out to greet members of a royal family that invaded their nation, as Leighton Andrews rightly has pointed out ? Au contraire, the father of the Dear Leader, our eternal president Kim Jong-il defeated our invaders, the Japanese ! Also, unlike your vulgar royalty, the Dear Leader wears practical modern clothing , he does not dress up like a Christmas tree weighed down with baubles.


We the people of North Korea send our fraternal greetings to our socialist comrades in the British Labour Party . We thank Leighton Andrews once again for correcting the lies spread in the Western Media by those who try to compare our socialist paradise with the pitiful situation in defeated Wales . He does not need a knighthood from a German Queen (as you suggest, Henry Jones-Davies) because, unbeknown to you, he’s been awarded the Order of the Pink Freesia by the Dear Leader himself - the highest honour that North Korea can bestow on a foreigner! Furthermore, he has been made a freeman of Pyongyang, and may march through the streets of our capital with his comrade the Revd. Christopher Bryant, with fixed bayonets.

In fact, during his clandestine visit here to receive his award, Mr. Andrews commentated on the advantages of having a dead man as the Head of State, as we do in North Korea. "If only," he said, "we had pickled Viscount Tonypandy, we would have strong leadership in Wales now - unlike all the dead wood that surrounds me daily in Cardiff Bay."

Comrade Andrews, and his wonderful wife, the star of the anti-imperialist epic The Sound of Music, will always be welcomed on our peninsula!

Forward with the Revolution !

Paek Nam Sun

North Korea’s Cultural AttachĂ© to the Court of St James

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