Jeremy Miles secures majority support from Labour MSs in quest to replace First Minister
A majority of Welsh Labour Members of the Senedd have declared their support for Jeremy Miles to be the party’s next Leader and First Minister of Wales.
Overnight, eight MSs confirmed their backing for the Education and Welsh Language Minister, and urged him to confirm his candidacy for the leadership.
Mick Antoniw MS, Welsh Labour Counsel General & Minister for the Constitution & MS for Pontypridd
Julie Morgan MS, Welsh Labour Deputy Minister for Social Services and MS for Cardiff North
Lee Waters MS, Welsh Labour Deputy Minister for Climate Change & MS for Llanelli
Jenny Rathbone MS, Welsh Labour Member Member of the Senedd for Cardiff Central
Carolyn Thomas MS, Welsh Labour Senedd Member for North Wales
Rhianon Passmore MS, Welsh Labour Senedd Member for Islwyn
John Griffiths MS, Welsh Labour Member of the Senedd for Newport East
Mike Hedges MS, Welsh Labour Member of the Senedd for Swansea East
Earlier this weekend, it was announced that the Deputy Minister for Social Partnership Hannah Blythyn, Bridgend MS Sarah Murphy, and former Welsh Labour Government Minister Alun Davies were also backing Miles.
The latest declarations mean that Mr Miles now has the support of the majority of Welsh Labour MSs, Welsh Labour Government ministers, and the entire 2021 intake of Welsh Labour Senedd members.
Commenting on the nominations, Julie James MS, one of the first ministers to back Mr Miles’ leadership bid said: “We’ve taken the time to talk to each other and really consider who is best for Wales, first and foremost. Senedd members know the huge responsibility we have with our nominations.
“It is the view of a majority of Welsh Labour Members of the Senedd that Jeremy Miles will be a great leader of the party and a fantastic First Minister of Wales.
“We need someone who will reach out, bring people together, and do the difficult work that will be required to stand up for Wales – particularly with a general election coming. Jeremy has all the qualities needed and more. Which is why it’s no surprise to me that a clear majority of the Senedd group, ministers who work with him in government and the entire 2021 intake of new MSs are backing Jeremy Miles for Wales’ future.”
Miles’ candidacy has been further boosted by the newly declared support of five high-profile parliamentary candidates, who are on course to be elected as Welsh Labour MPs at the General Election. They are:
Kanishka Narayan, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan
Andrew Ranger, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Wrexham
Claire Hughes, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Bangor Aberconwy
Gill German, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Clwyd North
Jackie Jones, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Ceredigion Preseli and former Wales MEP
Mr Miles is expected to make a statement on Monday that would see him formally announce his entry into the race to become Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister.
It is understood that Mark Drakeford and Chief Whip Jane Hutt will not nominate a candidate due to their positions in the government.
The Senedd Labour Group currently has 30 members. In the 2018 leadership election, Mark Drakeford received 58.6% of the total number of Welsh Labour MSs who nominated a candidate (17 of 29).
In this contest, Jeremy Miles has secured 60.71% of the total number of Welsh Labour MSs who are nominating a candidate (17 out of 28).
Vaughan Gething, Wales’ Economy Minister, announced his bid for the leadership on Thursday, (14 December) 24 hours after Mark Drakeford revealed he will step down in March.
He became the first candidate to secure a place on the ballot after eight Labour MSs announced their backing.
His supporters include three government ministers – Rebecca Evans, Dawn Bowden and Lynne Neagle.
His campaign is co-chaired by Newport West MS Jayne Bryant and former economy minister Ken Skates.
Other backers include Caerphilly MS Hefin David, Cynon Valley’s Vikki Howells and Mid and West Wales MS Joyce Watson.
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