The First Minister of Wales and Welsh Labour Leader, Carwyn Jones has sent a message of congratulations to Michael D. Higgins on his victory in the Irish Presidential election.
The letter reads:
Michael D. Higgins
c/o Irish Labour Party
17 Ely Place
I write to offer you my sincere congratulations on being elected the ninth Uachtarán na hÉireann.
On behalf of Welsh Labour Party, I would like to wish your Presidency every success in the years to come – during which I am certain that the strong relationship that exist between our two countries, will continue to thrive.
First Minister of Wales and Welsh Labour Leader
On the final day of campaigning today, Peter Hain and Carwyn Jones will race 400 miles around every corner of Wales with one clear message: Thursday is ‘Decision Day’ for Wales to stop a Tory government which would make savage and immediate cuts in jobs and public services.
Starting together in Newport, Carwyn will head west taking in points from Cardiff to Carmarthenshire whilst Peter Hain races north, then completing a tour of Wales.
Secretary of State for Wales, PETER HAIN, said: “The choice tomorrow is clear: the Tories will make cuts to the child trust funds and tax credits of families in Wales on middle and modest incomes. By cutting the Welsh budget they would threaten free prescriptions for all, and free bus travel for older people and free primary school breakfasts. Thousands of jobs and vital public services and investment would go. We have only 24 hours to stop these savage Tory cuts which will torpedo Wales’ recovery and damage businesses.”
First Minister, CARWYN JONES AM, said: “Tens of thousands of people in Wales still have not finally made their minds up, I believe this will be a last minute election like 1992.
Almost half of all Welsh Labour MPs, have now publicly declared they want Carwyn Jones to succeed Rhodri Morgan, as the Leader of Welsh Labour Party.
The news that so far, 14 Labour Members of Parliament – out of a total of 29 in Wales – have endorsed Carwyn’s Leadership bid, means he has secured more support than either of the other two candidates in the race, in the important ‘Section 1′ of the electoral collage mechanism to elect the new Leader.
‘Section 1′ of the college consists of all Labour AMs, Labour MPs representing Welsh constituencies, and the Labour MEP representing Wales.
Carwyn Jones’s bid to replace Rhodri Morgan as the next Leader of Welsh Labour, received a significant and unrivalled boost today, when six out of seven Labour MPs in North Wales, publicly declared their support for his candidacy.
This overwhelming level of support in the north of the country, comes just days ahead of Thursday’s deadline for the submission of supporting nominations by Welsh Labour’s Members of Parliament – a crucial section of the electoral college mechanism that will determine the outcome of the election.
The latest MP declarations are the clearest demonstration yet that Carwyn is attracting the broadest possible spread of geographic support for his campaign, across the length and breadth of Wales – greater than any other of the two candidates combined.
Carwyn Jones’s bid to succeed Rhodri Morgan as next Welsh Labour Leader, received a massive boost today, when two more Cabinet colleagues declared their backing for his campaign.
The support of Social Justice and Local Government Minister, Dr. Brian Gibbons, now takes the tally of current Cabinet Ministers publicly endorsing Carwyn’s candidacy, to two. And Labour Chief Whip Carl Sargeant, who attends Cabinet, is also backing Carwyn.
A clear majority of current Labour Ministers serving in the Welsh Assembly Government, have now indicated they want Mr. Jones to be the next Leader of the Party.
Dr. Gibbons is joined by Ministerial colleagues Jane Davidson, Leighton Andrews and John Griffiths, in declaring their support for the Leader of the House and Bridgend AM.
Labour Leader of the House, Carwyn Jones, this evening confirmed his intention to stand for the leadership of the Labour Group in the National Assembly for Wales with a promise ‘to be a leader for the whole of Wales’.
The election to find a new Leader of Welsh Labour, is taking place following Rhodri Morgan’s announcement he is to stand down from the role in December.
Speaking to members of his Bridgend constituency party, Mr Jones said:
“Over the last few weeks I have spoken to most Welsh Labour Assembly Members and most Welsh Labour MPs. I am persuaded that I have strong support for my candidacy in both the National Assembly Labour Group and the Welsh Parliamentary Labour Party.
“I am standing as a candidate who can build unity between the Assembly Group and Welsh Labour MPs…
Wrexham’s Labour Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, has declared her wholehearted support for Carwyn Jones to replace Rhodri Morgan as Leader of the Welsh Labour Party.
Urging Mr.Jones to put his name forward as a candidate, Lesley Griffiths said:
“Carwyn campaigned hard to help Labour re-take Wrexham in the Assembly elections of 2007. I was quickly impressed by Carwyn’s ability in the Assembly – not just in articulating Labour’s message but also by taking on the opposition. Carwyn is Labour through and through.
“As a North Wales AM, it is vital Welsh Labour has a Leader who can reach out, speak to and speak for all the people of Wales – North, South, East and West. Time and time again, Carwyn has shown he has can do just that.
Commenting on the announcement by Rhodri Morgan that he intends to stand down as the Leader of the Welsh Labour Party, Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths told Labour Matters:
“I am proud to say that I served as a member of Rhodri Morgan’s leadership campaign team in 1998 and 1999. For those of us who believed in and could see Rhodri’s potential back then, we can honestly say nearly a decade on, he has never let us down.
“Since he became First Minister, Rhodri has worked tirelessly to ensure that devolution in Wales has become firmly rooted and established in our country. He has succeeded in delivering precisely that. His belief in Wales and the Welsh people, to be able to run their own affairs, has never faltered. When we look back over the years of the leadership he has given to Wales – not just to my Party – we can recognise the extent of the contribution he has made to our country.
This is the full text of Labour’s First Minister of Wales, Rhodri Morgan’s speech at the 2009 Labour conference:
Conference, I’ve had the privilege as Labour Leader in Wales, of addressing you since 2000, and today I’m doing so for the last time.
Over that decade of devolution, I’ve seen Wales grow enormously in confidence.
Learning the art of government.
Getting used to making our own decisions.
Moving away from the old culture of blaming others for anything that goes wrong.
We would not, and could not, go back to the old days of going on bended knee for help from the likes of William Hague and John Redwood – those figures from what now seems like the prehistoric past.
That era is over for ever and ever.
Dead as a Norwegian blue dodo.
Dead as the Thatcher/Reagan era of ultra free-market economics which ended with the 2008 credit crunch.
A Labour Member of the Welsh Assembly is asking all UK high street banks, to explain what steps they have taken to advise their small business customers of the the availability of vital European funds, set aside to help them during the current economic downturn.
Wrexham AM, Lesley Griffiths, has written to HSBC, Barclays, NatWest, Lloyds TSB and the Royal Bank of Scotland, to find out what action they have taken to distribute billions of Euros worth of vitally needed loans and guarantees, provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in recent months, to help firms avoid bankruptcy.
Earlier this year, the EIB made €30 billion (Euros) available over the next three years, at reduced rates, to banks across the EU to help deliver credit support and loosen the flow of liquidity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the EU, including Wales.