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Welsh housing minister to lead new climate change ministry

The Welsh government has created a new climate change ministry which will include housing and be led by Julie James.

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Julie James has been appointed climate change minister (picture: Welsh government)
Julie James has been appointed climate change minister (picture: Welsh government)

As minister for climate change, Ms James will be responsible for the environment, energy, housing, planning and transport.

Ms James previously served as minister for housing and local government, a role she has held since 2018.

Lee Waters, who was previously deputy minister for economy and transport, has been appointed deputy minister for climate change.

The appointments came as part of a cabinet shake-up by Mark Drakeford, the Welsh first minister, after Welsh Labour was voted the largest party in last week’s Senedd election.

Mr Drakeford said: “The environment will be at the heart of our decision-making. The climate change emergency has not gone away while we have been dealing with the pandemic.

“Wales is a beautiful country with immense natural assets, which will help power our recovery and create the jobs of the future.

“In my new government, the environment doesn’t just have a seat at the cabinet table, it will be a consideration in all we do.”

His party won 30 seats in the election, leaving it one short of a majority.

Welsh Labour has not agreed a formal coalition with any other party and is expected to work with them on a case-by-case basis.

Other significant cabinet changes include former Welsh housing minister Rebecca Evans, who retains her role as finance minister, but with local government added to her portfolio.

Two-thirds of the new Welsh cabinet are women.

Mr Drakeford said: “The new cabinet is ready to get to work to set Wales on the path to recovery out of this long pandemic, which has cast such a shadow over all our lives.

“There will be challenges ahead of us – the pandemic is a public health and economic emergency with long-lasting impacts on all our lives – but this is a talented and committed team, determined to make a positive difference to Wales and for Wales.

“We will use all our efforts and energies to create a stronger, fairer and greener Wales, where no one is held back or left behind.”

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