Mark Drakeford's resignation statement in full

ITV Cymru Wales
First Minister Mark Drakeford spoke about his decision to step down next year on ITV's Sharp End programme on Monday 11 December. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that he will stand down in March 2024.

He has said nominations for his successor "will open shortly."

It's anticipated the process will be concluded by the end of the Spring term, to enable the name of the winner to be put to the Senedd before the Easter recess.

Mr Drakeford said there would "plenty of time for political obituaries and retrospection" once he ceases as First Minister.

But he says with a busy few months ahead he remains focused on key challenges such as "a child poverty strategy", "the future of steel-making in Wales" and "Module 2B of the Covid-19 UK Inquiry".

Here is Mr Drakeford's statement in full:

I have today formally notified the chair of the Welsh Executive Committee of my intention to stand down as Leader of Welsh Labour in March 2024.

Pan dechreuais fel arweinydd, dwedais baswn i wasanaethu am bum mlynedd, pe bawn I’n cael fy ethol.

Mae pum mylynedd yn union wedi pasio ers i mi derbyn y Swydd yn 2018.

When I stood for the leadership, I said that, if elected, I would serve for five years.

Exactly five years have passed since I was confirmed as First Minister in 2018.

Nominations for my successor as Welsh Labour Leader will open shortly.

The process will be concluded by the end of the Spring term, to enable the name of the winner to be put to the Senedd before the Easter recess.

Yn y cyfamser, rwy’n barhau fel eich Prif Weinidog.

In the meantime, I remain your First Minister. We have a busy few months ahead of us – full of major events and challenges, which I will be fully focused on:

  • A child poverty strategy

  • The final report of the independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales

  • The future of steel-making in Wales

  • The conclusion of consultations about making council tax fairer and the reform of the school year

  • Module 2B of the Covid-19 UK Inquiry

  • Co-operation Agreement commitments to deliver

  • And a Budget to pass.

There will be plenty of time for political obituaries and retrospection once I cease to be First Minister.

But not before.

In a five-year period, which has seen Wales deal with austerity, Brexit, the covid pandemic, the climate crisis, wars in Ukraine and the Middle East and four different Prime Ministers – so far – there will be lots to reflect on.

Am nawr, byddai’n barhau i weithio gyda fy holl nerth ar yr addewidionwnaethon i bobl Cymru.

For now, I will continue to deliver on the promises we made to people across Wales.

The next Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister will, I hope, have the opportunity, which has not come my way, to work with a newly-elected Labour Government in London.

I will work as hard as I can to see that Labour Government elected.

Mae hi wedi bod fraint mawr i’w arwain Llafur Cymru a Llywodraeth Cymru.

Rwyf hefyd wedi cael y fraint enfawr i chwarae rhan yng ngwleidyddiaeth Cymru yn ystod chwarter canrif gyntaf datganoli.

It has been a huge privilege to lead both the Welsh Labour party and the Welsh Government.

I have also had the enormous fortune to have played a part in Welsh politics during the first quarter century of devolution.

None of that would have been possible without the consistent support and enormous hard work of my talented Cabinet colleagues and successive Labour groups.

Now it is time to look forward to the next five years across the UK and to the next 25 years of devolution in Wales.

That journey begins today.

Nawr yw’r amser i edrych ymlaen at y bum mlynedd nesa dros y Derynas Unedig a’r pum ar hugain o blynnyddoedd nesa o ddatganoli yng Nghymru.

Mae’r taith yn dechrau heddiw.

Diolch o galon i chi gyd.

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