Senedd Election 2021: What are Welsh Labour promising?

  • Political Correspondent Owain Phillips outlines the main Labour pledges

The Senedd Election 2021 is fast approaching, with all political parties beginning to outline what they will do if they win.

Welsh Labour are pinning their hopes firmly on leader Mark Drakeford, who has become a recognisable face during the coronavirus pandemic.

The party will hope to have gained support following his handling of the crisis as First Minister.

The focus in their launch was on recovery post-pandemic, with catch-up programmes for the NHS and schools.

Mr Drakeford said he is "absolutely committed" to being the next leader in Wales, insisting his government needs to "complete the job" of leading the country through the pandemic.

In an interview with ITV Wales, he said the election will be fought while the "pandemic is still with us" and admitted the job has been a "tough" one.

Mark Drakeford launched his party's campaign with candidates joining virtually. Credit: ITV Wales

During his campaign launch, Mr Drakeford said a Young Person's Guarantee would include 125,000 new apprenticeships across Wales.

It is one of six pledges being made by the party, with the hope of winning an overall majority in the Senedd for the first time since devolution in 1999.

Mr Drakeford said: "I set out to be the leader of the Labour Party with a radical agenda for things I wanted to see happen here in Wales.

"That agenda has had to be set to one side while we've dealt with the crisis. I am absolutely committed to being the First Minister to lead Wales forward and to put radical ideas into practice."

Welsh Labour have 29 out of 60 seats in the Senedd, and have formed an administration with the support of sole Liberal Democrat MS Kirsty Williams, who is education minister, and independent MS Dafydd Elis-Thomas, as deputy culture minister.

It will also be the first election in which 16 and 17-year-olds and legally resident foreign nationals will be allowed to vote in Wales.

Another theme from Labour has been green issues, with promises of cutting single-use plastics, a national forest and more emphasis on green transport.

There is also the guarantee of a real living wage for all social care staff, and support for school uniform and equipment costs.

Labour are a well-drilled and disciplined campaigning party in Wales, with lots of members usually out knocking on doors.

But their ability to do that comes back to the central theme of this election - Covid.