Welsh Labour leadership: “Now we are three”

Confirmation from Carwyn Jones, Welsh Counsel General and Leader of the House, has brought to three the number of candidates vying to replace Rhodri Morgan as Leader of the Welsh Labour Party. Mr Morgan will step down once the budget is finalised in December.

In being the first to declare his candidacy, Huw Lewis, Assembly Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Ryhmney, concluded that Labour in Wales were now at a crossroads, going on to say:

“We can plough on in the same direction, a direction that worked for us in the past, or we can take a new departure. Wales, I believe, demands of us that we take a new departure.

“The country needs a radical and bold vision of the future, based on co-operative values. I have a clear idea of what a better Wales will look like and I want to get on and start building it.”

Announcing her intention to run for Welsh Labour Leader, Health Minister and AM for the Gower, Edwina Hart used a YouTube video to highlight her reasons for standing, stating that she would be a strong voice for Labour. She called for:

  • A fairer and more equal society.
  • A prosperous economy with employment for all.
  • Protecting and enhancing public services with a greater voice for the public.
  • A promise to re-engage with voters to persuade them to “come home to Labour”.

Similarly, in a video post on his campaign website, Carwyn Jones, the AM for Bridgend and current bookies’ favourite told supporters that he wanted to build on the successes of the Morgan years to “make a difference to the lives of people in Wales”. In a swipe at Plaid Cymru, he continued:

“Like other members of Welsh Labour, I’m proud to be Welsh, but also proud to be British.”

In order to be nominated, candidates need the support of at least 5 Labour Members of the Welsh Assembly. Once achieved, the winner will require the support of the three electoral colleges comprising:

  • Affiliated Trade Unions and Socialist Societies.
  • Welsh Labour MPs, AMs and MEPs.
  • Grassroots Welsh Labour members.

The new leader is expected to be announced on the December 1 and sworn in as the new First Minister a week later on December 8.

Left Foot Forward has made contact with the three campaigns and over the next few weeks will report on the key policies and issues each candidate expects to run on.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.