Ieuan Wyn Jones

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Ieuan Wyn Jones
Ieuan Wyn Jones 2011.jpg
Deputy First Minister for Wales
In office
11 July 2007 – 13 May 2011
First Minister Rhodri Morgan
Carwyn Jones
Preceded by Michael German
Succeeded by Office Abolished
Leader of Plaid Cymru
In office
16 March 2000 – 16 March 2012
Preceded by Dafydd Wigley
Succeeded by Leanne Wood
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for Ynys Môn
In office
6 May 1999 – 20 June 2013[1]
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by Rhun ap Iorwerth
Majority 2,937 (12.2%)
Member of Parliament
for Ynys Môn
In office
11 June 1987 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Keith Best
Succeeded by Albert Owen
Personal details
Born (1949-05-22) 22 May 1949 (age 64)
Denbigh, Denbighshire, Wales
Nationality Welsh
Political party Plaid Cymru
Spouse(s) Widowed
Children 3
Alma mater Liverpool John Moores University, University of London
Website Official website

Ieuan Wyn Jones (born 22 May 1949) is a Welsh politician who was the Deputy First Minister in the Welsh Assembly Government from 2007 to 2011. He was the Member of the National Assembly for Wales for the Ynys Môn constituency from 1999 to 2013, and he was also leader of Plaid Cymru from 2000 to 2012. Jones served as Member of Parliament for Ynys Môn constituency from 1987 to 2001, when he retired to focus on his work in the Welsh Assembly. In 2007, Jones was named Wales' "Politician of the Year" by the BBC Wales am.pm programme.[2] He resigned from the Welsh Assembly on 20 June 2013.[1]

Background and style[edit]

Family, education, and early career[edit]

Ieuan Wyn Jones was born in Denbigh, Wales, and is a Welsh speaker.[3] He has lived in both north and south Wales. Jones's early education was at Pontardawe Grammar School and at Ysgol y Berwyn in Bala, Gwynedd.[4] Jones's brother Rhisiart said "The time we spent living in Garnswllt (between Ammanford, in Carmarthenshire, and Pontarddulais, in Swansea) was a very happy time for us as a family,"[3] adding "Many people think that Ieuan is just a 'gog' but parts of south Wales are very close to his heart."[3]

In England Jones studied law at Liverpool Polytechnic where he met Dafydd Elis Thomas; and later studied at the University of London.[4] Rhisiart Jones said his brother loves to travel and that after college Ieuan "organised a 'rite of passage' trip across Europe in his Hillman Imp."[3]

He is married to Eirian Jones and has three children. Jones's hobbies include studying local history, walking, and sports.[4] Jones, a minister's son,[5] is an elder in his local chapel and occasionally preaches.[3] Before entering public service in 1987, Jones was a practising solicitor.[4] Jones became a Member of the Eisteddfod's Gorsedd in 2001.

Personal style[edit]

Ieuan Wyn Jones is known as a keen negotiator and a "man of integrity, one who is reliable and 'a good listener'".[3] Lord Elis-Thomas, presiding officer of the Welsh Assembly, said of Jones "[he] was a very good organizer with "huge tenacity'".[3] According to Lord Elis-Thomas, Jones assiduously "talks to each (Plaid Cymru assembly) group member individually"[3] and "will ensure the government achieves what it says it will."[3]

Jones's approach is described as "somewhat quieter, more understated," as compared to Rhodri Morgan.[3] Conservative leader Nick Bourne describes Jones as "somebody who's trustworthy, somebody who's reliable," and "a safe pair of hands... a good leader for his party".[3]

Jones is generally seen as a pragmatist,[5] steering a middle course between his party's (predominately southern) socialists and the language-inspired activists of the party's Anglesey and Gwynedd heartland.[5] Speaking about moderation at the British-Irish Council at Stormont on 16 July 2007, Jones said "We in Wales have also seen a coming together of parties with different traditions, on the basis of a shared programme for government, and a shared commitment to improve the lives of all our people in all parts of Wales.."[6]

Public service[edit]

Jones's main political interest is health and education policy.[7] Jones has held a number of positions both in Plaid Cymru and as a UK Member of Parliament and Welsh Assembly Member. He was Plaid Cymru party chairman between 1980–1982 and 1990–1992.

UK Parliament 1987–2001[edit]

Jones campaigned for public office for the first time in Denbigh at the October 1974 UK general election, and stood again in 1979. At the 1987 UK general election, he won the Ynys Môn (Anglesey) seat. He continued to represent Ynys Môn until 2001, when he stood down to concentrate on the Welsh Assembly. While a Member of Parliament, he piloted a private member's bill to assist the hard of hearing in 1989 and was a member of the Welsh Affairs and Agriculture Select Committees. He was the joint chairman of the All-Party Older Persons Group and was appointed as a trustee of the Industry and Parliament Trust, a body promoting better understanding between parliamentarians and industrialists. He won an award as Politician of the Year from the Federation of Small Businesses.

Jones has been a governor of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, a body that assists in the development of democratic institutions in many parts of the world.

First Welsh Assembly 1999–2003[edit]

Jones was the Plaid Cymru campaign director during the first elections to the Welsh Assembly in 1999. The elections were seen as a breakthrough by the party, which gained seats in solid Labour areas such as in the Rhondda, Islwyn and Llanelli and achieved by far their highest share of the vote in any Wales-wide election, winning 17 of 60 seats in the Assembly. Plaid Cymru saw themselves as the natural beneficiary of devolution.

Elected party president[edit]

In 1999, Jones became the Assembly's first Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee chairman, a post he retained until February 2000. Jones stood down at the 2001 election to spend more time in the Assembly. In the summer, he was elected President of Plaid Cymru with 77% of the vote over Helen Mary Jones.[5]

Jones reshuffled the party leadership with Jocelyn Davies as Business Manager; Elin Jones as Chief Whip and Agriculture & Rural Development spokeswoman; Phil Williams as Economic Development spokesman; and Helen Mary Jones as Environment, Transport and Planning and Equal Opportunities spokeswoman. Jones described his cabinet as "strong... capable of taking on Labour in the Assembly as well as making a vital contribution in promoting a positive policy agenda."[8]

Language Controversy[edit]

Controversy erupted in mid-winter 2001 when Gwynedd councillor Seimon Glyn voiced concern over "English immigrants"[9] moving into traditionally Welsh-speaking communities. Though some Plaid Cymru colleagues said he had been taken out of context,[9] Jones issued "strict instructions to Plaid Cymru party members that if they chose to speak on the same emotive issue in future, they should take care that their words were not misconstrued."[9] Plaid Cymru refocused the argument back to one of locals being priced out of the housing market:[9] nearly a third of all properties in Gwynedd are bought by people from out of that county.[10] Jones's centrist policies may have been helped further by the formation of Welsh language pressure group Cymuned and the Independent Wales Party.

Llandudno party conference[edit]

At the Plaid Cymru party conference of 2002 in Llandudno, Jones called for greater Assembly authority "[on-parity] with Scotland's parliament", and "opposed any military conflict in Iraq, saying it would destabilise the Middle East."[11] Jones also criticised health and public services policies and would end the "endless revamping of structures and administration".[11]

"[Plaid Cymru] has been doing its homework", wrote BBC Wales political reporter Simon Morris,[12] and is "determined to produce a credible programme of public service reform".

Second Welsh Assembly 2003–2007[edit]

However, in the Assembly election of May 2003, Plaid Cymru lost five seats, and within a week there were accusations of a plot headed by Assembly Member Helen Mary Jones and four other Plaid Cymru Assembly Members manoeuvring for Jones's removal.[5][13] But Helen Mary Jones denied involvement.[14] However, Jones resigned as both party president and leader of the assembly group.[3] He admits this was a particularly difficult period.[3]

But within three months he stood again for the position of assembly leader, having received support from both grassroots "all over Wales" and senior party members.[14] The party was undergoing a reorganisation and dividing its Cardiff Bay and Westminster responsibilities.[14] This party constitutional change prompted new party elections.[14] Jones was re-elected as Assembly group leader (he had been the party's Business Manager in the Assembly since May). In addition, when leader of the opposition he was also a member of the Assembly's European and External Affairs Committee and North Wales Regional Committee. Of early 2003 Jones said "it has been a remarkable journey for me personally and something that I have great pride in, in a sense, that I have been able to lead the party through a very difficult period.[3]

In 2006, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Wales, Bangor. That summer Jones hiked through Wales on a "Wales Wide" tour from Ynys Môn to Swansea, where he attended the National Eisteddfod.[7] Jones said his conversations with the people he met along the way helped create a manifesto better geared to the real needs of people.[3]

In February 2006, Plaid Cymru undertook changes to its party structure, including designating the leader of the party in the Assembly as its overall leader, with Jones taking the post once more. Additionally, the party unveiled a radical change of image, opting to use "Plaid" as the party's name, although "Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales" would remain the official title. The party's colours were changed to yellow from the traditional green and red, while the party logo was changed from the triban (three peaks) used since 1933 to a yellow Welsh poppy (Meconopsis cambrica).

Third Welsh Assembly 2007–2011[edit]

Jones led Plaid Cymru through the Welsh Assembly election of 3 May 2007. Plaid Cymru increased its share of the vote to 22% and its number of seats from 12 to 15, regaining Llanelli, gaining one additional list seat and winning the newly created constituency of Aberconwy The 2007 election also saw Plaid Cymru's Mohammad Asghar become the first ethnic minority candidate elected to the Welsh Assembly,[15] though on 9 December 2009 he left and joined the Conservatives.

Forming a government[edit]

Jones's initial attempts to form a three-party coalition with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties failed when the Liberal Democrat leadership backed out of coalition talks. This "Rainbow Coalition" would have formed the first ever PC-led government. With the reappointment of Welsh Labour's Rhodri Morgan as First Minister, the Liberal Democrat general party membership demanded that their leadership restart negotiations with Plaid and the Conservatives.[16] However, by now Jones had entered into coalition talks with Labour in an attempt to form a stable government[17] with Plaid's AMs approving a deal with the Labour Party on 27 June 2007.[18] Labour's special party conference on 6 July 2007 approved the coalition; Plaid Cymru's conference the next day sealed the arrangement.[19][20]

During the coalition negotiations, Jones pressed for full law-making powers for the Assembly, similar to the Scottish Parliament.[18] A referendum on the issue was promised "as soon as practicable, at or before the end of the assembly term (in 2011)", with Welsh Labour committed to campaign for a "yes" vote.[18] Other points Jones fought for included a first-time buyer's credit, a reconfiguration of the Welsh National Health Care service,[18] and a 3% annual reduction in carbon emissions by 2011 in areas of devolved competence. The result of the negotiations was the One Wales agreement.[18]

Of Plaid Cymru's entering into government for the first time, Jones said, "The party's role so far has been one of the opposition party which put pressure on the other parties to move things forward for the benefit of Wales,"[3] and "From today we will be sharing the responsibility of directly operating on behalf of the people of Wales. I am looking forward to the challenge."[3]

Deputy First Minister of Wales[edit]

Ieuan Wyn Jones became Deputy First Minister of Wales on 11 July 2007.[21] First Minister and Labour leader Rhodri Morgan was hospitalised days after the parties entered into coalition.[22] Lord Elis-Thomas said of the situation, "I think [Jones] will be a very stable influence around the cabinet table in the difficult situation both parties are in now with the first minister's illness."[21] The next day, Ieuan Wyn Jones, with the Queen, represented Wales in Belgium at the 90th anniversary ceremony of the Third Battle of Ypres at Passchendaele (World War I). During the battle, celebrated Welsh poet Hedd Wyn died along with thousands of other Welshmen.

Jones also represented Wales at the British-Irish Council held in Stormont on 16 July, where he said holding the council in the Stormont Parliament for the first time was "a historic occasion", and "The restoration of devolution was achieved as a result of the coming together, in a spirit of service to all the people of Northern Ireland, of two very distinct political traditions."[6]

On 19 July 2007 it was announced that Jones would also be Minister for the Economy and Transport.

Fourth Welsh Assembly 2011–2013[edit]

Ieuan Wyn Jones led Plaid into the Welsh Assembly election of 5 May 2011. Plaid Cymru lost 4 seats and, with 11 seats, became the third largest party in the Assembly; behind Labour (30 seats) and the Conservatives (14). Jones announced on 13 May 2011, the day he ceased being Deputy First Minister, that he would resign as leader of Plaid Cymru within the first half of the Assembly term.[23] Jones remained as an Assembly Member until his resignation on 20 June 2013, in order to take a post leading the new Menai Science Park.[1][24]

Books[edit]

Jones has published two books, 'Europe: the Challenge for Wales' in 1996 and in 1998 'Y Llinyn Arian', a biography of the Welsh nineteenth century publisher, Thomas Gee.

Membership[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://www.assemblywales.org/newhome/new-news-fourth-assembly.htm?act=dis&id=247249&ds=6/2013
  2. ^ "Jones takes top politician award". BBC News. 5 December 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Browne, Adrian (11 July 2007). "A 'remarkable journey' for Jones". BBC News. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Ieuan Wyn Jones's website". Ieuanwynjones.plaidcymru.org. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "The Comeback Kid". BBC News. 15 September 2003. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Jones and Brown meet at Stormont". BBC News. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Home: Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales". Ieuanwynjones.plaidcymru.org. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Plaid leader reshuffles cabinet". BBC News. 9 August 2000. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Plaid bids to defuse 'racism' row". BBC News. 21 February 2001. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "Apology over 'insults' to English". BBC News. 19 January 2001. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Plaid leader aiming to govern extracted 07-19-07". BBC News. 20 September 2002. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "Jones' uphill struggle for votes by Simon Morris extracted 07-19-07". BBC News. 20 September 2002. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  13. ^ Horton, Nick (9 May 2003). "Plaid, the president and the 'plot'". BBC News. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Plaid president's comeback attempt". BBC News. 7 July 2003. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "First ethnic minority AM elected". BBC News. 4 May 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2007. 
  16. ^ "Plaid says deal back on the table". BBC News. 27 May 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  17. ^ "Labour calls coalition conference". BBC News. 15 June 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c d e "Wales | Historic Labour-Plaid deal agreed". BBC News. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  19. ^ "Labour agrees historic coalition". BBC News. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  20. ^ "Labour-Plaid coalition is sealed". BBC News. 7 July 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  21. ^ a b "Jones confirmed as deputy leader". BBC Wales. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2007. 
  22. ^ "Rhodri Morgan has artery surgery". BBC News. 9 July 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  23. ^ "Ieuan Wyn Jones to stand down as Plaid Cymru leader". BBC News. 13 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "Ieuan Wyn Jones to stand down as AM with immediate effect". BBC News. 20 June 2013. 

Offices held[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Keith Best
Member of Parliament for Ynys Môn
19872001
Succeeded by
Albert Owen
National Assembly for Wales
Preceded by
(new post)
Assembly Member for Ynys Môn
1999-2013
Succeeded by
Rhun ap Iorwerth
Party political offices
Preceded by
Eurfyl ap Gwilym
Chair of Plaid Cymru
1980–1982
Succeeded by
Dafydd Iwan
Preceded by
Syd Morgan
Chair of Plaid Cymru
1990–1992
Succeeded by
John Dixon
Preceded by
Dafydd Wigley
President of Plaid Cymru
2000–2003
Succeeded by
Dafydd Iwan
Leader of Plaid Cymru in the National Assembly
2000–2012
Succeeded by
Leanne Wood
Preceded by
Dafydd Wigley
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly
2000–2007
Succeeded by
Nick Bourne
Vacant
Title last held by
Michael German
Deputy First Minister for Wales
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Position Abolished
Preceded by
Brian Gibbons
Minister for Economy and Transport
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Edwina Hart (Minister for Business, Enterprise & Technology)

External links[edit]