Drakeford: PM should use election successes to 'reset' relationships with devolved nations

  • Mark Drakeford speaks to the media in Porthcawl following Labour's election win. Watch the full interview with Dean Thomas-Welch

Wales' record of a Labour government has helped secure another election win for them, Mark Drakeford has said.

Welsh Labour held onto power after winning the 2021 Senedd election with 30 seats in total - just one short of a majority.

Mark Drakeford appeared with his two newly-elected candidates in Porthcawl on Saturday afternoon and told ITV News he is due to speak with Prime Minister Boris Johnson this evening. He said that the PM should use the election success for Labour in Wales and the SNP in Scotland to "reset relationships" with the devolved nations.

"I think now is the right moment to reset some relationships across the UK for a genuinely serious look at the way in which we can create machinery that allows all four parts of the United Kingdom to come together and create a successful future for us all", he said.

Mark Drakeford elbow bumps newly elected candidates Elizabeth Buffy Williams for the Rhondda and Sarah Murphy for Bridgend & Porthcawl Credit: PA

Mr Drakeford can choose to form a minority government or invite members of other parties into a Labour-led administration, giving the party greater control of the Senedd.

He added he wants to work with other parties "where there are policy ideas that we have in common."

Mr Drakeford said, "We've demonstrated in the past that you can govern successfully with 30 seats, but my approach will be to work with other parties where there are policy ideas that we have in common.

"No party has a monopoly of good ideas. I'm much more interested in working with others where we think that will be to the betterment of Wales than I am in the sort of political fixing of things.

"I'm looking forward to working with anybody who thinks that by doing things together we can do things better."

Asked how he would be celebrating Welsh Labour's win, Mark Drakeford said he will be having a fish and chips takeaway with his family in Cardiff on Saturday evening.

The second biggest party are the Welsh Conservatives who have 16 seats, Plaid Cymru have 13 seats, and the Liberal Democrats have one.

In South Wales East, the Conservatives won two seats while Plaid Cymru won the other two.

Meanwhile in South Wales Central, the Conservatives won two seats and Plaid Cymru also won two.

It was unlikely Labour would win seats in those regions due to its constituency performance there.

Covid safety measures were said to have slowed down the counting process, with no overnight counts taking place on 6 May.

The results for Mid and West Wales were declared just after midnight, with Labour gaining two seats and Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats gaining the other two.

Mark Drakeford's party also won a regional seat in North Wales.

No party has ever won a majority in the Senedd since it began in 1999.

Mark Drakeford said he will be assessing how to achieve a "stable and progressive" government on Saturday. Credit: PA Images

Labour gained one new seat in Rhondda, which was previously held by former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood.

Leanne Wood was elected to the Rhondda constituency in 2016, and before that represented the South Wales Central region in the Senedd from 2003.

Buffy Williams won the Rhondda seat for Labour with a 5,497 vote majority.

  • Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood gives concession speech

But Labour lost the Vale of Clwyd, where former Labour MS Ann Jones had stood down to retire having held the seat since 1999.

Winning candidate Gareth Davies secured a majority by just 366 votes, and the declaration followed a recount.

The Conservatives also gained Brecon and Radnorshire, almost wiping the Liberal Democrats out of the Senedd until Jane Dodds won her regional seat.

  • Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies offers his reaction to the Senedd election results

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies said he was pleased with his party's performance and that it had been a "good day's work at the office".

He added: "It would be churlish not to complement Labour on their victory.

"It is a fact that incumbent governments across the UK have done well in this election whether it be in England, whether it be in Scotland or whether that be in Wales.

"But it is a fact that we've got a record number of Conservative MSs returning to Cardiff Bay, we had a record share of the popular vote and I would say coming out of an election that's what most leaders and most parties look to."

Mr Davies also congratulated Mark Drakeford on a successful campaign.

Mark Drakeford and Vaughan Gething, who led Wales through the pandemic as First Minister and Health Minister, both won significantly higher majorities and votes than in 2016.

Vaughan Gething celebrated with his family after holding Cardiff South & Penarth. Credit: PA Images

In 2016, Mr Drakeford won a majority of 1,176 in his Cardiff West constituency. This year, he beat his Conservative opponent by 11,211.

In votes, Mr Gething gained 18,153 in his Cardiff South & Penarth constituency this year, compared to 13,274 in 2016.

There was more heartbreak for Plaid Cymru after missing out on the fourth North Wales regional seat to the Conservatives by just 21 votes.