Sidney Sussex has become the first Oxbridge college to see two alumni elected to the Welsh Assembly.

Former students Rebecca Evans and Ken Skates were among the 60 Assembly Members (AMs) elected to the devolved administration in May. Together they form part of the 30-strong group of Labour AMs in charge of the Government of Wales.

Skates, an SPS undergraduate between 1994 and 1997, was elected Labour AM for Clwyd South, while Evans, Historical Studies MPhil student from 1997 to 1998, was elected as a regional Labour AM for Mid and West Wales.

The pair are also the first Cambridge alumni elected as Labour Assembly Members and are currently the only Oxbridge educated members of the devolved government, but they are not the only Sidney alumni in UK government. David Lidington and Chris Grayling, who both read History, are currently part of the Cabinet - Lidington as Minister for Europe and Grayling is Minister of State at the Department of Work and Pensions. They follow in a rich Sidney tradition that spans the political spectrum, including Lords David Owen and Ian Lang, and Nick Raynsford in this country and, more recently, Brian Lenihan in Ireland, who served as Finance Minister until earlier this year.

It is now possible for back bench AMs to propose legislation themselves and Ken Skates has indicated that he intends to use these additional powers to press for improved post-18 assistance for children in care. He also plans to lobby for the extension of National Monument status to include historical trees and to promote improved emotional education classes in schools.

Prior to entering the Assembly, Rebecca Evans worked for a national disability charity. She will now seek to be a champion for people with disabilities, their parents and carers, and the professionals who work with them, within the National Assembly for Wales.

This is an archived news story, first posted in 2011.

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