New First Minister takes swipe at Westminster Tories in confirmation speech

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Mark Drakeford described a vote of no confidence in Theresa May as a “species of madness” in his first speech after being confirmed as the new First Minister of Wales.

The newly elected Welsh Labour leader received the most votes from assembly members on Wednesday afternoon to see him succeed Carwyn Jones.

Addressing AM’s in the Senedd, the new First Minister described Brexit as a “burning platform” and said he hoped to act as a “beacon of hope”.

  • Mark Drakeford (Labour) – 30
  • Paul Davies (Conservative) – 12
  • Adam Price (Plaid Cymru) – 9

Mr Drakeford said: “When I was elected as leader of the Labour party last week I said I wanted to be a beacon of hope in a darkening world. Today is not a day for partisan remarks, but the skies around us have darkened even further in the days which have followed.

“A species of madness has descended on the Conservative party in which a significant number of Members of Parliament appear to believe our country’s future is best secured by heaping a leadership contest onto the burning platform which Brexit has become.

“I really do believe that here in a much newer and very different institution that things really are done differently, and almost always that things are done better.”

Mr Drakeford said it was “an enormous privilege” to be leading the Welsh Labour party and to be elected as First Minister, as he renewed calls for a “kinder sort of politics”.

He received 30 votes from assembly members, against 12 for Welsh Conservatives’ leader Paul Davies and nine for Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price.

The Queen is expected to endorse his appointment within the next 24 hours.

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