Labour's leader in Powys has declared he is backing Vaughan Gething for the top job in the Welsh Government as Mark Drakeford steps down.

Voting is under way in the race to replace Mark Drakeford as the leader of the Labour Party in Wales and as the nation’s First Minister, with Vaughan Gething, the minister for the economy, and education minister Jeremy Miles, vying for the role.

Among the 100,000 people eligible to vote for the role is Powys County Council’s Labour group leader Cllr Matthew Dorrance.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has asked Cllr Dorrance for his views on the election and who, in his opinion, will make the best leader for both the Labour party and Wales.

Deputy council leader, Cllr Dorrance said: “This is a huge moment for Wales.

“We face a Tory cost-of-living crisis and expect a General Election any day. We need a leader who’s ready from day one to be able to meet those challenges.


“I believe Vaughan Gething has the experience, values, and vision needed to do just that.

“As a Welshman born in Zambia, Vaughan knows what it’s like to face prejudice.

“That’s why he’s dedicated his life to standing up for social justice, as a trade union shop steward, trade union lawyer, devolution campaigner, councillor, MS, and minister.

“As health minister during Covid-19 he was tested in the toughest circumstances.

“Under the highest pressure, he stepped up, kept his judgement and stood firm with our shared values.

County Times: Cllr Matthew DorranceCllr Matthew Dorrance

“Vaughan has a positive vision for the future of the country and it matches what I want to see for communities in Powys too.”

Cllr Dorrance continued:  “His first pledge in this campaign was for a Welsh NHS, safe in public hands and always the budget priority.

“For services focused on improving both physical and mental health, and social care fit for our future.

“He has made clear his commitment to green prosperity, with green job creation at the heart of protecting Wales’ future.

“A just transition, tackling poverty and protecting our planet, with good jobs and community wealth.

“Vaughan wants everyone to have a place called home by accelerating social housing construction and investing in our communities through reliable, affordable public transport and devolving powers and funding to local government.

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“A Welsh Government with his leadership will focus on achieving excellence in our schools and colleges, working with teachers and support staff.

“And he also wants to build a stronger Wales, together, with more powers for Wales and across Wales.

“With Vaughan we will be an ambitious, progressive nation taking its place on the world stage with a thriving future for Cymraeg.”

He added that pledges around housing, transport, devolving powers and funding to local government are particularly important to him as a councillor which would make a “real difference” to the daily lives of Powys people.

Cllr Dorrance said: “Vaughan has been clear that he will work with councillors in a partnership of equals.

“That’s the energy and attitude we need in a leader – a focus on bringing people together and delivering for all of us, right across the country.”

The result of the election will be declared on March 16.