Wales politics

Welsh Assembly: Melding rejects presiding officer job

David Melding
Image caption David Melding was deputy presiding officer in the last assembly term

A front-runner for the post of presiding officer of the Welsh Assembly has said he does not want the job.

Tory David Melding, who was deputy to Dame Rosemary Butler, said he was "at my best as one of life's lieutenants".

Dame Rosemary stepped down as presiding officer and an AM at the election after five years in the post.

A new presiding officer and deputy will be chosen by the new assembly at its first meeting, expected to be on Wednesday.

"After much soul searching I have come to realise that I am at my best as one of life's lieutenants," the South Wales Central AM said on Monday.

"For this reason I do not believe that I am the right person to lead the National Assembly through its next stage of development.

"I am very grateful to family, friends and colleagues who have given me such generous support and provided me the space to make this decision.

"Consequently, I will not seek nomination to become the assembly's presiding officer.

"I look forward to making a full contribution to the work of the fifth Assembly and in particular initiatives to strengthen Welsh democracy and the efficiency of public services," Mr Melding added.

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