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Carolyn Harris elected Welsh Labour deputy leader

Credit: PA

Carolyn Harris has won the Welsh Labour deputy leadership election.

The Swansea East MP won the overall electoral college for the contest, despite winning fewer votes from members than Cardiff North AM Julie Morgan.

The result was announced at the Welsh Labour Conference in Llandudno

The election - the first for a deputy leader in Welsh Labour - was held under an electoral college, where the votes of party members are weighed alongside trade unions, affiliated organisations, and elected parliamentarians.

Ms Harris told delegates that the result had "knocked me sideways".

"But while I always hoped I could win, I've never quite believed I would. Which makes this moment all the more special," she said.

"I would of course like to pay tribute to Julie Morgan, who brought to this campaign the same energy, passion and commitment that has characterised her lifetime's service to Welsh Labour. I look forward to campaigning with her for Welsh Labour in the months and years ahead.

"I will never forget the trust that members of our Welsh Labour family - members, Trade Unionists and affiliates - have placed in me."

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For the first time ever we have a Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour. I want to congratulate Carolyn Harris on her win and I look forward to working with her very much.

I also give my heartfelt thanks to Julie for her campaign, and the superb contribution she has already made to Welsh Labour and will continue to make in the years ahead.

– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister

It was a great campaign and there has been so much enthusiasm. I have given my support to Carolyn and obviously I accept the result as this was done under the existing rules and I undertook to campaign for the role on those terms.

I’m clearly disappointed not to have won but pleased it was very close. I overwhelmingly won the members’ vote and the figures speak volumes, 65.2% to 34.8%, so the membership backed me two to one.

I knew the odds were stacked against us. The total number of votes cast was 9,110 for me and 7,709 for Carolyn.

Assembly Members’ votes are worth 400 times more than a member’s vote.

Obviously I think members will be disappointed. But the campaign continues on OMOV on my part.

I enjoyed going round country meeting members. So I don’t feel down, I feel more like a winner - because now is the moment we realise we need to put the party’s house in order.

Rhodri went through this 20 years ago and he got a similar percentage of members’ vote - it upsets me, he went through all of that and we’re still using the system now which produces clearly what is an undemocratic result.

– Julie Morgan AM

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