Mark Drakeford Stuns Politics By Quitting As Welsh First Minister

The veteran Labour politician is standing down as the party's leader in Wales with immediate effect.
Mark Drakeford is standing down immediately.
Mark Drakeford is standing down immediately.
Maja Smiejkowska - PA Images via Getty Images

Mark Drakeford is stepping down as the Welsh Labour leader with immediate effect, he has announced.

In a major shock, the veteran Labour politician said his replacement as the country’s first minister will be elected before Easter.

Drakeford, who became first minister exactly five years ago, posted on X (formerly Twitter): “When I stood for election as Leader of Welsh Labour, I said I would stand down during the current Senedd term. That time has now come.

“It has been a great privilege to serve as leader of this party. Together, we have achieved a huge amount over the last five years in some of the toughest times we have known.

“Despite all the chaos in Westminster, the ongoing impact of Brexit, climate change and the pandemic, by working together, we have delivered record results for Welsh Labour in the local government and Senedd elections.

“Our greatest task is still ahead of us – to return a Labour UK Government and start repairing the huge damage which has been inflicted by the Tories over the last 13 years.

“I will work tirelessly to secure that Labour victory and to continue delivering on the promises we made to people all across Wales in 2021 to deliver a stronger, fairer and greener Wales.”

Former Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon was among the first to pay tribute to Drakeford.

Writing on X, she said: “He was without doubt one of the most decent, dedicated, principled, and impressive politicians I had the privilege of working with in my time as FM. He will be the hardest of acts to follow.”

Rishi Sunak said he wished Drakefors “all the best as he moves on from his many years of public service”.


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