Vaughan Gething elected new leader of Wales

VAUGHAN Gething has today (Saturday 16 March) been elected the new leader of the Welsh Labour Party.

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Gething won with 51.7 per cent of the vote and takes over from outgoing leader Mark Drakeford.

 

Gething said: “Today, we turn a page in the book of our nation’s history. A history we write together.

 

“Not just because I have the honour of becoming the first black leader in any European country – but because the generational dial has jumped too.

 

“Devolution is not something I have had to get used to or adapt to or apologise for.

 

“Devolution – Welsh solutions to Welsh problems – that’s in my blood. It’s what I’ve always known.”

 

On this year’s General Election, Gething said: “I know we can win the next General Election … We can win if we stand together, linking arms to defeat the narrow forces of division that seek to turn a warm nation cold.”

 

Keir Starmer MP, Leader of the UK Labour Party, commenting on the election of Vaughan Gething as Welsh Labour Leader, said:

 

“Huge congratulations to Vaughan Gething on his election as Leader of the Welsh Labour Party. His appointment as First Minister of Wales, the first Black leader in the UK, will be an historic moment that speaks to the progress and values of modern-day Wales.

 

“With his many years of experience in the Senedd, I know he will lead a hopeful, ambitious Welsh Labour government, in the face of a tired and failed Tory government in Westminster.

 

“On behalf of the entire UK Labour Party, we look forward to campaigning with Vaughan in this new chapter for Wales, to deliver Labour governments across Britain.”

 

Mark Drakeford, former Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister, said:

“I congratulate Vaughan on becoming Welsh Labour leader. He will provide the next generation of leadership for the party and I look forward to campaigning with him to deliver the UK Labour government Wales so desperately needs.”

 

Jo Stevens MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, congratulated Gething on his victory and said:

“Vaughan’s election begins a new era for Labour in Wales.

 

“Both candidates can be proud of the campaigns they ran, and I know Vaughan will work quickly to form a government that focuses on the priorities of people in Wales.

 

“I look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with Vaughan to deliver a UK Labour government and begin the decade of national renewal our United Kingdom so desperately needs.”

 

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, and Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour, said:

“A fantastic campaign was run by both candidates and their teams, and I look forward to supporting Vaughan in any way I can.

 

“Now is about bringing the party together behind Vaughan and having a laser-focus on this year’s General Election, which could be called at any time.”

 

Mark Drakeford announced he would be standing down as Welsh Labour leader and First Minister of Wales in December 2023 after holding the roles since 2018. He will continue representing his Cardiff West constituency until the Senedd election in 2026.

 

Mark Drakeford will resign as First Minister on Tuesday 19 March and the Senedd will elect a new First Minister on Wednesday 20 March.

 

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