VALE of Glamorgan AM Jane Hutt has left the Welsh Government cabinet after 18 years.

Mrs Hutt's departure from the cabinet comes as part of the First Minister's reshuffle, which is taking place today.

In a statement issued by Mrs Hutt, she said: "I have been very fortunate to be able to play my part in the founding years of the Assembly, helping to secure stability and confidence in a Welsh Labour Government throughout this time.

"Guided always by my principles and values of social justice and fair play, I have taken every opportunity to help shape policy to meet Welsh needs in the past two decades of devolution.

"You have to stick to your principles in politics and keep your feet on the ground, listening to the people you serve, especially those without a strong voice. That's what I have always sought to do.

"I will continue to serve my constituents in the Vale of Glamorgan with dedication and commitment, thankful for the support I have received from them for so many years."

First Minister Carwyn Jones paid tribute to the long-serving Assembly Member, who has retained her seat in the Senedd since its inception in 1999.

Mr Jones said: "Jane Hutt has been a feature of Welsh Government, and Welsh public life for two decades. Her unique approach and unrivalled ability to build bridges brought stability through all the toughest periods of party politics in Cardiff Bay - she was always the one who could deliver a sensible compromise and find a way through difficult periods.

"She served in a number of roles with distinction and her dedication and her loyalty was always without question. The people of the Vale of Glamorgan are very lucky to have such a committed politician to represent them, and I'm sure she will continue to do so with distinction in the future."

After being elected to the very first Senedd almost 20 years ago, Mrs Hutt has held various roles including health secretary, education secretary, and more recently leader of the house.

Since 2016, she had also been Labour's chief whip in the Assembly, and had been the UK's longest serving minister.

Labour AM Lee Waters and Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas were among those to pay tribute to the veteran politician, with Mr Thomas praising her "real contribution to devolution."

Welsh Conservatives leader and South Wales AM Andrew RT Davies also honoured Mrs Hutt's contribution to the Assembly, saying on Twitter: "To serve in government for 18 years is an outstanding achievement, as is doing so in a principled manner."

Mrs Hutt will continue to the serve the Vale of Glamorgan as an Assembly Member.