Welsh Labour: Lord Kinnock backs Gething to be next FM

Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock has announced he is backing Vaughan Gething to lead the party in Wales and be the next first minister.

He said that Mr Gething showed “clear, practical purpose, common sense and resilience” as Wales’ health minister during the pandemic.  Ex-Islwyn MP Lord Kinnock was UK Labour leader from 1983 to 1992.

Mr Gething, now Welsh economy minister, and Jeremy Miles, education minister, are seeking to replace Mark Drakeford.

One of the two men will become the new first minister by mid-March, following a vote of members of the Labour Party in Wales, sister parties and affiliated organisations.

Lord Kinnock is arguably the most senior figure to have endorsed either candidate in the race so far.Writing in the Mirror, on Wednesday, Lord Kinnock said: “All leaders need values to guide them; vision that gives them a clear, practical purpose; common sense and resilience so they are realistic and firm – especially in tough times.

“Vaughan has those attributes in full – they are deep-rooted and, crucially, proven under pressure as, together with Mark, Vaughan led Wales through the Covid-19 pandemic in his previous role as health minister.

“He was tested under the spotlight of our biggest public health emergency for a century and the biggest crisis Britain has experienced since the Second World War.”

Describing Mr Gething as “dynamic, authentic and determined”, Lord Kinnock adds in the article that he will “spearhead that fight in Wales” to turn blue seats red at the coming general election and help Sir Keir Starmer become prime minister.

Also on Wednesday, Mr Gething’s cabinet colleague and leadership election rival Mr Miles said Welsh Labour “should always be distinctively and confidently Welsh”.

This should not be “for the sake of it, but because Welsh Labour is rooted in pride for our country and care for our people”, he said.

“I’m proud to be Welsh, and proud to be Labour. My values are Welsh Labour’s values – and I’ve been a member of our party for more than 35 years.

“Welsh Labour is home to good-hearted people of passion and talent, and commitment to the causes of equality and social justice.”

The task, said Mr Miles, was to “apply our enduring values to the changing world we live in”. “Under my leadership, we will do exactly that.He also promised to put Welsh Labour on “red alert” for the general election on his first day in office.

Source: BBC

In other news – Tory councillor Atiqul Hoque expelled for alleged antisemitic comments

A councillor has been kicked out of the Conservative Party over alleged antisemitic remarks, the BBC understands. The Salisbury Conservative Association said it had received a formal complaint about “offensive and inappropriate comments” by Salisbury mayor Atiqul Hoque on social media and WhatsApp.

Atiqul Hoque

The party said it would expel the councillor following an investigation. The BBC has approached Mr Hoque for comment. Mr Hoque is a ward councillor on Salisbury City Council and has been mayor since May 2023. Read more

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