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First Minister of Wales (Functions as Privy Counsellor)

Volume 551: debated on Monday 15 October 2012

In a number of situations advice is by convention given by a Minister of the Crown to Her Majesty in respect of the exercise of her functions.

The majority of Her Majesty’s functions in respect of which she receives advice from a Minister of the Crown relate to the making of appointments and the use of the royal prerogative. Her Majesty receives advice from the Secretary of State for Wales in respect of the exercise of her functions in relation to Wales. By convention, the Secretary of State for Wales has taken the advice of the Welsh Ministers in areas which are devolved in Wales before advising Her Majesty.

Following a formal request from the First Minister of Wales, the Secretary of State for Wales and I (as Lord President of the Council) have agreed that the First Minister of Wales will henceforth advise Her Majesty in respect of the exercise of her functions which are within devolved areas of competence.

These are:

The appointment of the chief inspector and inspectors of education and training in Wales under section 19 of the Education Act 2005;

Functions in relation to further and higher education in Wales under the Education Reform Act 1988; and

The appointment of fire inspectors in Wales under section 28 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004

The First Minister of Wales will advise Her Majesty so long as the office holder is a member of the Privy Council. The Secretary of State for Wales will continue to advise Her Majesty in respect of her other functions in relation to Wales.

No formal order is required to give effect to the new arrangements. However, an amendment to section 19(6) of the Education Act 2005 will be required to allow the First Minister to advise Her Majesty on the appointment of the chief inspector and inspectors of education and training in Wales. The UK Government will work with the Welsh Government to effect this change.