Having served the party and country for nearly a decade in a front-bench role, as a government whip and Minister in the Wales Office and Defra under two Labour Prime Ministers, and as a Shadow Minister for DECC and Defra in opposition, yesterday I took the decision to step down from a frontbench role.
The decision is entirely my own. It has been a privilege to serve as a Minister and Shadow Minister alongside passionate and talented colleagues, and I do not rule out a return to the frontbench in future if the opportunity arises. But for now I intend to play a full and constructive role in the rebuilding of the Labour party in Wales and the UK from the backbenches, speaking up as always for my constituents, putting forward ideas which will reconnect people with politics, and working for Labour success in the elections for the National Assembly for Wales next year.
The General Election has been a shock to Labour, and to those who sought a more compassionate politics and government in Westminster. There will now be very tough times ahead for many of my constituents, and for many throughout Wales and the UK. I will continue to speak up for them, now and in the years ahead.
Member of Parliament for Ogmore