MARK Drakeford has confirmed he will leave the Welsh Parliament at the next election.

Mr Drakeford has previously said he will stand down as first minister before the end of the Senedd term in 2026, although no firm date has yet been set to choose his successor.

But the first minister has now confirmed he plans to leave the Senedd, where he currently represents the Cardiff West constituency, at the next election.

Speaking at the National Eisteddfod in Boduan, North West Wales, Mr Drakeford said it was “important to have a refresh”.

According to the BBC, the Welsh first minister said: “It’s important to have a refresh. I think it is difficult for those who will be doing the work in the future to have people like me sitting behind them.


“I don’t want to do that. I think of it like Tony Benn – when he decided to leave the House of Commons, he said ‘I’m going to stop being an MP in order to spend more time in politics’.”

In a question and answer session with Elin Jones, the presiding officer of the Senedd, Mr Drakeford added: “I’m not going to be a Member of the Senedd after 2026 but I am not going to step back from the debate or stop thinking about Wales’ future.”

Mr Drakeford was first elected to the Senedd in 2011 as the Member for Cardiff West.

He served in various ministerial roles from 2013 under the leadership of Carwyn Jones, before succeeding him as first minister and Welsh Labour leader in 2018.

Mr Drakeford’s televised appearances throughout the Covid pandemic to share details of Wales-specific public health measures are often credited with widening public awareness of the role of the Welsh Parliament and Government.

He indicated in December that he would end his premiership before the next Senedd elections take place.