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Jeremy Miles secures majority support from Labour MSs in quest to replace First Minister

17 Dec 2023 4 minute read
Education Minister Jeremy Miles speaking in the Senedd

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.

They are:

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.”

Parliamentary candidates

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.

Labour Group

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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Richard E
Richard E
6 months ago

Its good to see the strong geographical and mix of support one candidate enjoys reflecting an inclusive and all Wales need.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
6 months ago

Da iawn. Dw i ddim yn llafurwr o unrhyw fath. Ni phleidleisiwn i fyth trostynt – ond dyma’r ymgeisydd gorau dw i’n meddwl. Mae yn ddyn hawddgar, hawdd gwneud ag o, ac yn gallu cydweithio a thrafod yn dringar o’r hyn a wela i.

Mandi A
Mandi A
6 months ago

Worst PISA results, don’t know how many people speak Welsh, bilingual education failing kids. Didn’t work in Wales until he was angling for a seat. Gething has disappointed since leaving health with his hands in the pockets of the nuclear industry. Closed lists. No women candidates. Nothing but gerrymandering for Gogledd Cymru. UDI for YM.

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