First minister

It’s time to upgrade the office of the Welsh first minister

Some of the most revealing detail from newly released 1997 government files relate to Welsh constitutional affairs. The Home Office advised against the Queen opening the new Welsh Assembly, for instance, judging the institution to be ‘wholly subordinate’ to Westminster even before the people of Wales had voted for it. Tony Blair and John Prescott even thought the leader of the Assembly should be known as ‘Chief Executive’, unlike the ‘First Minister’ title bestowed in Scotland. It has taken more than two decades, but attitudes to Welsh politics have finally changed, from both the public and politicians in Wales and Westminster. The Assembly-cum-Parliament now has primary law-making powers; our national