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Friday, 07 December 2018

Ex-Secretary for Health and Social Services set to named First Minister of Wales

Written by Adam Hale

Mark Drakeford has been named as the new leader of Welsh Labour and is set to become the next first minister of Wales.

Wales's Finance Secretary, 64, beat contenders Vaughan Gething and Eluned Morgan following a leadership election to succeed Carwyn Jones.

Mr Drakeford won 53.9% of the vote when the result was announced by Labour officials at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Thursday.

He will be confirmed as first minister after Mr Jones tenders his resignation to the Queen next Tuesday.

Mr Drakeford (pictured) told party members in his victory speech he would work to ensure a Labour government in Westminster, and promised to govern "in the radical socialist tradition of Aneurin Bevan and Michael Foot".

He also said he would dedicate himself to creating a "Wales which is a beacon of hope in a darkening world".

Mr Drakeford said: "I said at the beginning of this campaign in March I would be the candidate to offer a political choice.

"The choice has been made for a Labour Party which is ambitious for a distinctive Wales in a successful United Kingdom.

"For a Labour Party here in Wales which will do everything we can to make sure we have a Labour government in Westminster, to work in a Labour government here in Wales.

"The choice for a Labour Party true to our roots as a party in the radical socialist tradition of Aneurin Bevan and Michael Foot and of Rhodri Morgan."

Mr Drakeford promised "practical ideas" for "economic justice, social justice, environmental justice, and for democratic renewal".

He thanked party members for the confidence shown in him, and said he would ensure Wales' "most radical and successful days" were ahead.

Mr Drakeford added: "And now our thoughts must turn to exactly that.

"Taking forward the passionate commitment of this party in protecting and promoting the interests of Welsh citizens during this perilous period of our history.

"Determined in our duty to ensure our most radical successful days lie ahead of us.

"This afternoon I dedicate all the strength and energy and the commitment I can bring to the essential common task in which together we create a Welsh Labour Party and a Wales which is a beacon of hope in a darkening world and a future which works for the many in our society and not simply a privileged few."

In the first round of voting Mr Drakeford won 46.9% of the vote, with Mr Gething winning 30.8 and Mrs Morgan 22.3.

Mrs Morgan was then eliminated from the contest, with her votes being distributed to the remaining two who listed them as second preference, leaving Mr Drakeford with 53.9% and Mr Gething with 41.4%.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Nick Ansell / PA Wire.