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Vaughan Gething Makes History as Wales’ First Black Leader

Vaughan Gething emerged victorious in the Welsh Labour Party leadership contest on Saturday, marking a historic moment as he becomes the first Black leader of the semi-autonomous government in Wales.

In his post-result speech, the 50-year-old Gething expressed the significance of this milestone, stating, “Today, we turn a page in the book of our nation’s history… not just because I have the honor of becoming the first Black leader in any European country, but because the generational dial has jumped too.”

Gething, who was born in Zambia, emphasized his deep-rooted connection to devolution and Welsh governance, stating, “Devolution, Welsh solutions to Welsh problems and opportunities is in my blood.”

Currently serving as the minister for economy, Gething will succeed Mark Drakeford, who announced his departure in December after leading the Welsh government for five years. The Welsh government holds responsibility for various devolved areas, including health and education.

Keir Starmer, leader of Britain’s Labour Party, extended his congratulations to Gething, expressing readiness to campaign with him in the upcoming national election later this year. Starmer emphasized the importance of delivering Labour governments across Britain.

Drakeford is set to resign as the first minister of Wales on March 19, with the Welsh parliament, the Senedd, scheduled to formally elect the next leader on March 20.

In addition to Starmer, Conservative British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also congratulated Gething on his victory, pledging to work together constructively moving forward.

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