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Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones to step down in autumn

The first minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has announced he will step down in March, citing the need for a "fresh start" for his party following the death of colleague Carl Sargeant last year.

Jones said the Welsh Labour party conference he was speaking at would be his last and that he was resigning after being through the "darkest of times".

Sargeant was found dead at his home in November last year shortly after he was sacked by Jones amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Jones cited family difficulties in the wake of Sargeant's death as his reason for stepping down, telling the conference: "I don't think anyone can know what the last few months have been like – no one apart from Lisa and the kids.

"They have carried me through the darkest of times. I have asked too much of them at times. It's time for me to think about what's fair to them."

Jones has been the first minister of Wales since 2009.

The leader of Scottish Labour Richard Leonard said Jones was a "respected leader".

Carwyn Jones is a highly respected Labour leader, not just in Wales but across the Labour Movement, at home and abroad. He has been a great advocate of devolution yet never insular, always outward looking. I look forward to working with Carwyn in the months ahead & his successor

— Richard Leonard (@LabourRichard) April 21, 2018

The Welsh Conservatives tweeted:

Statement from Welsh Conservative leader @AndrewRTDavies on Carwyn Jones decision to stand down as First Minister. pic.twitter.com/8WakTndfIv

— Welsh Conservatives (@WelshConserv) April 21, 2018

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