'A new era for Labour in Wales': MPs react to Vaughan Gething winning leadership race

ITV Wales Political Editor Adrian Masters was at the announcement in Cardiff

MPs have reacted to Vaughan Gething winning the Labour leadership race, describing his appointment as a "new era for Labour in Wales" and a "historic day".

Mr Gething will make history as Europe's first Black leader when he is sworn in as first minister next week.

The current minister for economy beat his only rival, the education minister Jeremy Miles, and will succeed Mark Drakeford.

Addressing Labour Party members in Cardiff, Mr Gething said: “Today, we turn a page in the book of our nation’s history. A history we write together.

“Not just because I have the honour of becoming the first black leader in any European country – but because the generational dial has jumped too.

“Devolution is not something I have had to get used to or adapt to or apologise for.

“Devolution – Welsh solutions to Welsh problems – that’s in my blood. It’s what I’ve always known.”

Mark Drakeford, former Welsh Labour leader and outgoing First Minister congratulated Vaughan Gething on becoming Welsh Labour leader. Credit: PA Images

Mark Drakeford, former Welsh Labour leader and outgoing first minister, said: “I congratulate Vaughan on becoming Welsh Labour leader.

“He will provide the next generation of leadership for the party and I look forward to campaigning with him to deliver the UK Labour government Wales so desperately needs.”

UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer welcomed the election of Mr Gething as Welsh Labour leader.

“Huge congratulations to Vaughan Gething on his election as Leader of the Welsh Labour Party,” he said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“His appointment as First Minister of Wales, the first Black leader in the UK, will be an historic moment that speaks to the progress and values of modern-day Wales.

“With his many years of experience in the Senedd, I know he will lead a hopeful, ambitious Welsh Labour government, in the face of a tired and failed Tory government in Westminster.

“On behalf of the entire UK Labour Party, we look forward to campaigning with Vaughan in this new chapter for Wales, to deliver Labour governments across Britain.”

Jo Stevens MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for Wales, said Mr Gething's election "begins a new era for Labour in Wales".

She said: “Both candidates can be proud of the campaigns they ran, and I know Vaughan will work quickly to form a government that focuses on the priorities of people in Wales.

“I look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with Vaughan to deliver a UK Labour government and begin the decade of national renewal our United Kingdom so desperately needs.”

Carolyn Harris (Left) congratulated Vaughan Gething along with First Minister Mark Drakeford Credit: PA Images

Welsh Labour deputy leader Carolyn Harris MP said both candidates ran a "fantastic campaign".

She added: "I look forward to supporting Vaughan in any way I can.

“Now is about bringing the party together behind Vaughan and having a laser-focus on this year’s general election, which could be called at any time.”

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said: “I congratulate Vaughan Gething on winning the Welsh Labour leadership election.

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth MS congratulated Vaughan Gething on winning the Welsh Labour leadership election. Credit: PA Images

“If elected First Minister on Wednesday as expected, his party’s own record means he inherits significant challenges.

“He has sat around the Cabinet table and held key portfolios while Wales’s economy has stagnated, NHS waiting lists have grown, and child poverty remains a national scandal. Nothing said during the leadership campaign suggests that we will now see a gear-change in addressing these huge challenges.

“But he also brings his own personal issues. It is a matter of deep concern that we now have an incoming First Minister who before even taking up the highest public office is facing serious allegations and questions about his judgment.

“At the very least, Vaughan Gething should surely return the £200,000 campaign donation which has rightly drawn so much criticism from within his own party and beyond.

“This is not as good as it gets for Wales. The people of Wales deserve a party that has a real vision for the future – one that’s based on fairness and ambition, and that is what a vote for Plaid Cymru can offer.”

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