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First Minister of Wales

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Title: First Minister of Wales  
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Subject: Welsh Government, Welsh devolution referendum, 2011, Wales, Politics of Wales, Government of Wales Act 2006
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First Minister of Wales

First Minister of Wales
Prif Weinidog Cymru
Incumbent
Carwyn Jones

since 10 December 2009
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Term length While commanding the confidence of the National Assembly for Wales
Inaugural holder Alun Michael
Formation 12 May 1999
Website Website

The First Minister of Wales (Welsh: Prif Weinidog Cymru) is the leader of the Welsh Government, Wales' devolved administration, which was established in 1999. The First Minister is responsible for the exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government; policy development and coordination; relationships with the rest of the United Kingdom, Europe and Wales abroad; and staffing.

The official office of the First Minister is in Tŷ Hywel, previously known as Crickhowell House, and the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. An office is also kept at the Crown Buildings, Cathays Park, Cardiff.

Terminology

When initially set up under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the post was known as First Secretary for Wales (in Welsh Prif Ysgrifennydd Cymru), as Wales was given a less powerful assembly and executive than either Northern Ireland or Scotland. The choice of title was also attributed to the fact that the Welsh term for First Minister, Prif Weinidog, may also be translated as Prime Minister, so a different title was chosen to avoid confusion with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

A change of title occurred after the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government with Labour in the Welsh Assembly in October 2000. The Government of Wales Act 2006 allowed for the post to be officially known as the First Minister and also made the First Minister Keeper of the Welsh Seal.

Role

Under the arrangements in the Government of Wales Act 1998, executive functions are conferred on the National Assembly for Wales and then separately delegated to the First Minister and to other Cabinet Ministers and staff as appropriate.

Until the Government of Wales Act 2006, these were delegated powers of the UK government. Since that Act came into force in May 2007, however, the First Minister is appointed by the monarch and represents the Crown in Wales. Whilst this has little practical difference, it was a huge symbolic shift as for the first time in centuries the head of government in Wales is appointed by the Crown on the advice of the elected representatives of the Welsh people.

The First Minister appoints the Welsh Ministers, Deputy Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General for Wales (collectively known as the Welsh Government), with the approval of Her Majesty.

Following separation between the legislative and the executive on the enactment of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (upon appointment of the First Minister, 25 May 2007), the Welsh Ministers exercise functions in their own right. Any further transfers

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