Unions welcome Mark Drakeford Wales win

Unions have welcomed Mark Drakeford’s election as the next leader of the Welsh Labour Party.

The Cardiff West AM was backed by ASLEF, CWU, UNISON, Unite and Usdaw to replace current First Minster Carwyn Jones.

In the first round of voting, he won 46.9% of the vote with Cardiff South and Penarth AM Vaughan Gething second on 30.8% and Mid and West Wales AM Eluned Morgan third on 22.3%.

After Eluned Morgan’s votes were redistributed on the basis of the voters’ second preferences, Mark Drakeford had 53.9% and Vaughan Gething 41.4%.

Usdaw divisional officer Nick Ireland said: “We are delighted to have supported Mark Drakeford’s election and congratulate him on his victory today. We are confident that he will be an excellent leader and First Minister.

“Wales faces some challenging issues, not least because of the uncertainties of Brexit and eight years of Tory austerity. We know that Mark Drakeford will work with the trade unions to deliver for our members and improve Welsh workers’ lives.

“We look forward to working with Mark and the deputy leader Carolyn Harris MP. Working as a team they will ensure Wales has strong leadership in the Assembly and a strong campaigning voice in the UK Parliament.”

te Wales warmly welcomes the election of Mark Drakeford as the new leader of Welsh Labour and the next First Minister of Wales. Unite the union nominated Mark and strongly supported his leadership campaign.

Unite Wales regional secretary Peter Hughes said: “Unite is delighted that Mark’s positive and inspirational election campaign has resulted in him decisively winning the election to become our new leader of Welsh Labour. His experience at the highest levels of Government will be invaluable as he seeks to guide Wales through the fog and uncertainty of Brexit created by a UK Tory Government in perpetual crisis. Mark’s focussed leadership, and vision for a fairer and more prosperous Wales, should provide us all with confidence that Wales can emerge from the Brexit process relatively unscathed, and ready to embrace a brighter future.

“Mark’s leadership of our country will be guided by his strong socialist principles, which chime strongly with Unite’s values and those of working people all across our country. Mark is a committed trade unionist with a strong track record of supporting workers’ rights, particularly when they have come under attack from the Tory administration in Westminster. During his election campaign Mark visited many Unite workplaces, including large manufacturing sites such as Airbus and Tata Steel. He is keenly aware of the threats Brexit poses to our manufacturing sector and is committed to doing everything to support employment in this pivotal sector of the Welsh economy.

“Mark has been a longstanding and loyal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the UK Labour Party. He will work closely with UK Labour to deliver future electoral success for our party both in Cardiff Bay and at Westminster. It is only through Labour Governments in both Wales and the UK that the truly transformational change that our people so desperately deserve can be fully delivered”.

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Mark shares our values which is why we were proud to support his campaign to be the next leader of the Labour Party in Wales. He’s a strong proponent of trade unions – and the trade union link with the party – and we believe he will ensure the Welsh Labour Party, and the Labour Party nationally, remains a radical, democratic, socialist party that will deliver the change that is needed for the people of Wales.’

ASLEF’s district organiser for Wales Brian Corbett said: “Mark is committed to the regeneration of the Valleys and to the public ownership of Britain’s railways. He’s part of that great radical tradition in Wales and has the backing of many Assembly Members.”

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