A recent change to the committee chairs saw old hand Mike Hedges given the desirable post of the Chair of the Climate Change, Environment & Rural Affairs Committee which was freed up when Mark Reckless (sort of) defected to the Tories.
It was a bit of an odd move given Mr Hedges had no obvious interest in all things environmental before and there were some other AMs from the 2016 intake who would have been a more obvious fit, such as former Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Defra, Huw Irranca-Davies. This prompted commentators (well, the newsdirect break room) to speculate that those tipped for ministerial office might be not have to wait much longer.
Added to the that, we saw another rising star Eluned Morgan produce an independent report calling for a city deal-type package for rural Wales. A pitch for a cabinet post? Baroness Morgan is a strong contender given long experience as an MEP and as shadow whip in the House of Lords.
This is a good time of year to do it. With the summer recess looming and providing the necessary time for new ministers to get to know new briefs.
That said, the changes might be fairly low key.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Local Government (Mark Drakeford) and Cabinet Secretary for Education (Kirsty Williams) are only 12 months into their long-term projects to reform local government and Wales’ education system. Similarly, Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure (Ken Skates) is in the middle of a major reform of the heritage sector. While health is always a tricky portfolio, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing & Sport (Vaughan Gething) appears to have a handle on it.
So how to bring in new blood?
Cabinet Secretary for Environment & Rural Affairs (Lesley Griffiths) and Cabinet Secretary for Communities & Children (Carl Sargeant) may feel it’s time for a change of scene. Both have held demanding portfolios for many years – indeed having been in power for almost 20 years, Welsh Labour Ministers can certainly boast longevity.
Carwyn Jones might opt to create a Minister for Brexit, an idea he has previously resisted but which is becoming ever more realistic as the Article 50 process progresses.
And what about the top man himself? Well, Carwyn Jones seems pretty firmly ensconced at the moment and his pivotal role in averting a General Election catastrophe (indeed, turning it in to a stunning success) would suggest there is little immediate appetite to replace him. However, there were recent newspaper reports that he would consider standing down before the end of this Assembly term, leaving his successor enough time to establish themselves.
If you need us, we’ll be glued to Twitter. Two out of the last three Welsh Government reshuffles have been announced via social media. It adds a whole new layer of excitement.