One of the leading contenders vying for the role of Welsh Labour leader and first minister has officially declared his candidacy.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething took to social media, expressing that he has garnered “strong support from right across the party.”
His nomination secured the first spot on the ballot following the endorsement of eight Labour Members of the Senedd (MSs), among whom were three Welsh government ministers: Rebecca Evans, Dawn Bowden, and Lynne Neagle.
Simultaneously, two senior cabinet ministers, Climate Change Minister Julie James and Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths, pledged their support for Education Minister Jeremy Miles. It is anticipated that Mr. Miles will confirm his candidacy in the forthcoming days.
The announcement of Mark Drakeford’s resignation as Welsh Labour leader was made on Wednesday. In a statement posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), Mr. Gething acknowledged that his party faces a “huge task ahead.”
“We can only maintain our record of winning elections and fighting for the people of Wales if we are a united, modern, diverse movement which reflects this nation’s ambitions for the future.”
He said Wales has a “crucial opportunity to have two Labour governments working side-by-side to deliver real change in our communities and repair the damage wrecked by the toxic Tory years”.
“I look forward to a positive leadership contest where I plan to set out an energetic agenda for our country’s future.”
Hailing from Zambia but raised in Dorset, Mr. Gething pursued his higher education in Aberystwyth and Cardiff. A former solicitor and previous president of the Wales TUC, he entered the Senedd in 2011, representing Cardiff South and Penarth.
He attained the runner-up position in the 2018 leadership election, having been defeated by Mr. Drakeford.