Time to go: First Minister urged to stand down after Labour AM challenges his authority to take M4 decision

The First Minister should go “sooner, rather than later” as he no longer has the authority to take key decisions, say the Welsh Conservatives.

The calls come after Labour AM and Chair of the Assembly’s Environment Committee – Mike Hedges – said the final decision on the M4 relief road should be made by the incoming First Minister, rather than Carwyn Jones.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Hedges warned that any decision taken by Carwyn Jones to adopt the ‘Black Route’ would simply be overturned by his replacement.

He said: "I think it would be beneficial as the new first minister would be responsible for it.

"It would be the first item on his or her desk. Otherwise you could have a situation in which the first minister puts it in, and the new first minister takes it out."

Responding, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, warned that the First Minister’s political authority was draining away.

He said:

“It’s clear the First Minister no longer has the authority amongst colleagues to take key decisions, and as a result the M4 relief road now looks dead in the water.

“There’s a vacuum at the heart of Welsh Government that can only be filled if the First Minister goes sooner rather than later.

“In the past, it may have been acceptable to endure a long goodbye, but this is a Parliament now – not a local branch of the Labour Party - and the Welsh public can’t be held to ransom whilst the Labour Party sorts out its internal divisions.

“Decisions of this magnitude can’t just be parked until January and we need to see a swift resolution of the Labour leadership crisis.”