Former finance secretary to become Welsh first minister

7 Dec 18

Mark Drakeford is to become Wales’ new first minister after being elected leader of the Welsh Labour party.

Drakeford, who is finance secretary in the Welsh Government, will replace Carwyn Jones when he stands down next week.

Speaking just after his election was announced, Drakeford said he wanted to create a Wales that was a “beacon of hope in a darkening world”.

He secured 53.9% of the vote, beating rivals Vaughan Gething and Eluned Morgan.

Congratulating Drakeford on his victory, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I know Mark will relentlessly fight for the interests of the Welsh people and stand up to the Tories’ chronic underinvestment in Wales compared to other parts of the UK, particularly London.”

As a minister in the Welsh Government, Drakeford has been a key player in some major debates include the devolution of tax-raising powers to Wales for the first time in 800 years.

Until recently, he also combined finance duties with responsibility for local government, and led discussion on local government reform in Wales.

Drakeford was a social policy academic and also served as a councillor on South Glamorgan County Council in the 1980s and 1990s.

In an exclusive interview with PF last year Drakeford criticised austerity, calling it a policy that “simply cannot work”.

He also addressed the CIPFA Wales conference in Cardiff last month and wrote an article for PF setting out his plans to fight the impact of austerity.

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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