Ieuan Wyn Jones has announced his intention to step down as leader of Plaid Cymru.
The former deputy first minister said he would step down as leader of the party sometime during the first half of the new assembly term.
The news comes after disappointing election results which saw Plaid Cymru slip behind the Conservatives to be the third biggest party in the Senedd.
Announcing his decision to step down today Mr. Jones said:
“The results of the 2011 election were a disappointment for Plaid Cymru. As leader I take my share of the responsibility for those results.
“The party obviously needs time to reflect on the results, look long and hard at our message, our party structures and campaigning abilities”
The AM, who will soon have served as party leader for eleven years, told party members and constituents that it had always been his intention to step down some time during this assembly term but that it was now time to make that decision clear:
“As I did not intent to lead the party into the 2016 election, it had always been my intention to step down as party leader sometime during the course of this Assembly, whatever the result of the election.
“The time is now right for me to make that clear and to say that I will be standing down as leader sometime within the first half of this Assembly term.”
He added: “I am equally clear that an immediate leadership election would not serve the party’s best interests given the need for the review which needs to take place.
“I will need to discuss with colleagues and the wider party the appropriate time for a leadership election to take place within the time frame I have announced. There also needs to be sufficient time for a new Leader to establish him/herself well before 2016.”
Speaking in Beaumaris, Gwynedd, he said it had been a “great honour” to lead the party over the last 11 years.