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First Minister pays tribute to workers in final Christmas message

25 Dec 2023 3 minute read
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford. Photo Picture by Peter Byrne / PA

Mark Drakeford paid tribute to workers in the NHS, emergency services and local councils in his final Christmas message as First Minister.

Mr Drakeford, who recently announced his intention to step down as the leader of Welsh Labour and First minister next spring, said:  “Nadolig Llawen. A Merry Christmas to everyone – however and wherever you may be celebrating or spending Christmas this year.

“I want to wish everyone a joyful and peaceful Christmas. I’d like to thank the great many people who will be working over the festive season, especially everyone in the emergency services, the NHS and our local councils, who do so much to keep us safe at this time of the year. And to all the volunteers who give up their time to others.

“For many who have come to live in Wales this year, including all those who have found sanctuary and refuge from wars and conflicts here, this will be your first experience of a Welsh Christmas.

“Together, we can all look forward to the new year with hope.”


In his first Christmas message as the leader of Plaid Cymru, Rhun ap Iorwerth referred to the ongoing cost of living crisis and issued a renewed call an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

He said: “The are challenging times in so many ways. The cost-of-living crisis still biting hard and Plaid Cymru wants to do everything that we can to help you, your family and your community.

“It’s why we were determined to use our influence to deliver free school meals, more child care. Help for people to be, able to find homes in their communities and much more.

“And at the same time, it’s why we work hard as an opposition party in the Senedd to hold Welsh government to account on the economy on health and on education.

As a party that thinks internationally, we remember this Christmas everybody suffering because of war or injustice throughout the world, and we again demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

“Standing for peace and against oppression as we did through our vote in the Senedd.

Blanket speed limits

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives used his Christmas message to revisit his usual attack lines against the government.

He said: “The fact of the matter is that the Labour Welsh Government have been distracted. Their focus is ideological pursuits like blanket 20mph speed limits, sending 36 more politicians to the Welsh Parliament, nationalist talking shops like their constitutional committee and their completely unworkable universal basic income project.

“Our Welsh NHS is in dire straits. While Christmas is a joyous time of year, for our hardworking healthcare workers the winter months mean incredible pressures on them as they tirelessly carry out their duties.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank those working in our Welsh NHS who power through the Christmas period with dedication as well as armed forces personnel, many of whom will not get to see their families this Christmas as a result of their steadfast, patriotic commitment to the safety of our United Kingdom.

“So I would like to use this message, as we approach Christmas to wish you all the happiness of the Christmas Season and to grasp the opportunities that the New Year will bring for a brighter and positive future for Wales.”

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Steve Thomas
2 months ago

Not like blanket boy to use his Christmas message to try to score points-so predictable🤔

2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Thomas

OK boris

Richard E
Richard E
2 months ago

Good old ARTD full of positives and
optamism for Wales. His hopes and
efforts have done so much for Wales’

May he spend many happy years
as leader of the opposution…👋🏽

2 months ago

So twofaced thank you emergency workers verbal support but nothing else

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