Posted: Sat 17th Feb 2024

Voting Underway for New Leader of Labour Party in Wales and First Minister /
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Feb 17th, 2024

VOTING is now under way in the race to replace Mark Drakeford as the leader of the Labour Party in Wales and as the nation’s First Minister.
The candidates are Vaughan Gething, the Welsh Government minister for the economy, and Jeremy Miles, the minister for education.
Only members of Labour or those who are part of an affiliated organisation, such as a trade union, can take part in the election, which means that around 100,000 people can vote.
One of those who will be voting is Powys County Council’s Labour group leader Cllr Matthew Dorrance.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service has asked Cllr Dorrance for his views on the election and who, in his opinion, will make the best leader for both the Labour party and Wales.
Deputy council leader, Cllr Dorrance said: “This is a huge moment for Wales.
“We face a Tory cost-of-living crisis and expect a General Election any day.
“We need a leader who’s ready from day one to be able to meet those challenges.
“I believe Vaughan Gething has the experience, values, and vision needed to do just that.
“As a Welshman born in Zambia, Vaughan knows what it’s like to face prejudice.
“That’s why he’s dedicated his life to standing up for social justice, as a trade union shop steward, trade union lawyer, devolution campaigner, councillor, MS, and minister.
“As health minister during Covid-19 he was tested in the toughest circumstances.
“Under the highest pressure, he stepped up, kept his judgement and stood firm with our shared values.
“Vaughan has a positive vision for the future of the country and it matches what I want to see for communities in Powys too.”
Cllr Dorrance continued:  “His first pledge in this campaign was for a Welsh NHS, safe in public hands and always the budget priority.
“For services focused on improving both physical and mental health, and social care fit for our future.
“He has made clear his commitment to green prosperity, with green job creation at the heart of protecting Wales’ future.
“A just transition, tackling poverty and protecting our planet, with good jobs and community wealth.
“Vaughan wants everyone to have a place called home by accelerating social housing construction and investing in our communities through reliable, affordable public transport and devolving powers and funding to local government.
“A Welsh Government with his leadership will focus on achieving excellence in our schools and colleges, working with teachers and support staff.
“And he also wants to build a stronger Wales, together, with more powers for Wales and across Wales.
“With Vaughan we will be an ambitious, progressive nation taking its place on the world stage with a thriving future for Cymraeg.”
He added that pledges around housing, transport, devolving powers and funding to local government are particularly important to him as a councillor which would make a “real difference” to the daily lives of Powys people.
Cllr Dorrance said: “Vaughan has been clear that he will work with councillors in a partnership of equals.
“That’s the energy and attitude we need in a leader – a focus on bringing people together and delivering for all of us, right across the country.”
The result of the election will be declared on March 16.
Once Mr Drakeford stands down, a vote for the next First Minister will need to take place in the Senedd.
At this point opposition groups can put forward their own candidates.
With the largest party at the Senedd being Labour, it is unlikely that any other group would take the role. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales

More from Powys Council

Audit Wales Report Highlights Lack of Understanding of Powys Residents’ Needs by Senior Council Chiefs

Powys Council

Failings in Contract Management by Powys County Council Result in Losses for Local Businesses

Powys Council

Councillor calls for compensation for sub-contractors affected by failed housing scheme

Powys Council

Costly Agency Staff Numbers Falling in Powys Social Services, Councillors Told

Powys Council

First Children Move into Specialist Care Home in North Powys

Powys Council

Recruitment Events for Social Care Workers Have Limited Success, Councillors Told

Powys Council

Latest from News.Wales

Empty Homes in Monmouthshire Decrease Following Council Tax Premium Agreement

Monmouthshire Council

New Recycling Contract Worth £375,000 to be Scrutinised by Blaenau Gwent Councillors

Blaenau Gwent Council

Former Bowling Alley and Fruit Warehouse in Tonyrefail to be Transformed into Affordable Homes by 2025

Rhondda Council

Cardiff Council Sees Increase in Primary School Applications Refused

Cardiff Council

Swansea Council to Phase Out Green Plastic Bags for Kerbside Recycling

Swansea Council

Dealing with Fly-Tipping in Wrexham: Local Authority Spends £21,500 in Efforts to Combat Issue

Wrexham Council