Rhodri Morgan exits Welsh politics

By Liz Stephens

The first minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan will be stepping down by the end of the year it was revealed today.
 
He is expected to stand down after the Assembly government’s budget process is finished in December.
 
Mr Morgan will make the announcement during an address to Labour assembly members (AMs) in Cardiff this afternoon.
 
However, the leader of the Welsh Labour party, who has just turned 70, is expected to stay on as AM for Cardiff West until the next assembly election in May 2011.
 
A firm supporter of devolution, Mr Morgan is the first modern Welsh first minister to lead a law-making government.
 
Mr Morgan has led the assembly since February 2000, when he was replaced Alun Michael as first secretary.
 
In October 2000 his title changed to first minister. He has won reappointment twice since then in 2003 and 2007.
 
His departure will spark a leadership contest in the Welsh Labour party.