Wales politics

Aberconwy AM Gareth Jones to stand down at election

Gareth Jones AM
Image caption Gareth Jones says it has been a 'huge privilege and honour' to represent voters in his constituency

The Plaid Cymru AM for Aberconwy, Gareth Jones, will stand down from the Welsh assembly at next year's election.

Mr Jones, 71, represented Conwy in the assembly's first election in 1999, but lost his seat by 72 votes in 2003.

A former headmaster, he returned to the Senedd when he won the redrawn constituency of Aberconwy in 2007.

The chair of the enterprise and learning scrutiny committee said it had been a "huge privilege and a rare honour" to represent his electors.

Mr Jones, who was awarded the OBE in 1991 for services to education, said he was "eternally grateful to the people for giving me that opportunity".

He had been head of Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno, Conwy, and an independent educational consultant before the 1999 election.

'Enjoyed it immensely'

He became Plaid education spokesman and chaired the assembly education committee.

After his 2003 defeat he became leader of the Plaid group on Conwy council before returning to the assembly.

"Early on in my professional career as a teacher I never imagined that I would be in this position, nor that Wales would have a semblance of self-government, but I've enjoyed it immensely and will miss it greatly," he said.

"I hope I've been able to contribute something to our fledgling democracy here in Wales.

"I also hope that the next fourth assembly will see someone elected who shares my passion both for this constituency and for this nation and someone who will finally have the right tools to get on with the job of representing the people of Aberconwy in a proper parliament for Wales."

Voters will go to the polls next May, and Mr Jones will stand down when the assembly is dissolved at the end of March.

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