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CRISIS IN THE ASSEMBLY : BACK ON GROUND LEVEL.

ALUN MICHAEL has not just relinquished political power by resigning as First Secretary.

The former Cabinet high-flyer loses his chauffeur-driven Vauxhall Vectra, personal secretary and plush fifth-floor office in the Assembly building with its view of Cardiff Bay.

The job does not come with an official residence so at least he will not have to change homes.

But unless he pulls off a rapid return to the top, Mr Michael's pay will also be reduced from the pounds 97,000 a year he receives as First Secretary to pounds 45,000, the amount paid to an ordinary Assembly member who is also a Westminster MP.

The First Secretary's official spokesman said Mr Michael would have to clear his office to make way for temporary leader Rhodri Morgan before elections to find a permanent boss can be held.

The Welsh Assembly's 2,000 or so civil servants have also ceased to be at the beck and call of Mr Michael.

In exchange for the trappings of high office, Mr Michael will be given the facilities of an ordinary Assembly member - an office and an allowance for staff.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 10, 2000
Words:186
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