First Minister of Wales

The First Minister of Wales (Welsh: Prif Weinidog Cymru) is the leader of the Welsh Government, Wales' devolved administration. The First Minister is responsible for the exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government; policy development and coordination; relationships with the rest of the United Kingdom, Europe and the wider world.

The official office of the First Minister is in Tŷ Hywel, previously known as Crickhowell House, and the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. An office is also kept at the Crown Buildings, Cathays Park, Cardiff.

First Minister of Wales
Prif Weinidog Cymru
Mark Drakeford - National Assembly for Wales
Mark Drakeford

since 13 December 2018
StyleThe Right Honourable
NominatorNational Assembly for Wales
AppointerElizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Term lengthWhile commanding the confidence of the National Assembly for Wales
Inaugural holderAlun Michael (as Assembly First Secretary)
Formation12 May 1999


When initially set up under the Government of Wales Act 1998, Section 53(1), the post was known as Assembly First Secretary (in Welsh Prif Ysgrifennydd y Cynulliad), as Wales was given a less powerful assembly and executive than either Northern Ireland or Scotland. The choice of title was also attributed to the fact that the Welsh term for First Minister, Prif Weinidog, may also be translated as Prime Minister, so a different title was chosen to avoid confusion with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The change of title occurred after the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government with Labour in the Welsh Assembly in October 2000. The Government of Wales Act 2006 allowed for the post to be officially known as the First Minister and also made the First Minister Keeper of the Welsh Seal.

Nomination & appointment

Candidates for the position of First Minister are nominated by the members of the National Assembly for Wales. The members elect the nominee for the First Minister by majority vote. If no one is elected by a majority of votes cast with the first set of nominations, the process continues until a majority decide to cast their vote for one candidate. This process does not require an absolute majority of the National Assembly (currently 31 out of 60 members)

Once this process has occurred the Presiding Officer shall formally send a letter to the Current Monarch who must then appoint that nominee to the position of First Minister.[1]


Under the arrangements in the Government of Wales Act 1998, executive functions are conferred on the National Assembly for Wales and then separately delegated to the First Minister and to other Cabinet Ministers and staff as appropriate.

Until the Government of Wales Act 2006, these were delegated powers of the UK government. Since that Act came into force in May 2007, however, the First Minister is appointed by the monarch and represents the Crown in Wales. Whilst this has little practical difference, it was a huge symbolic shift as for the first time the head of government in Wales is appointed by the Crown on the advice of the elected representatives of the Welsh people.

The First Minister appoints the Welsh Ministers, Deputy Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General for Wales (collectively known as the Welsh Government), with the approval of Her Majesty.

Following separation between the legislative and the executive on the enactment of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (upon appointment of the First Minister, 25 May 2007), the Welsh Ministers exercise functions in their own right. Any further transfers of executive functions from the UK Government will be made directly to the Welsh Ministers (with their consent) by an Order in Council approved by Parliament.

The First Minister is accountable and responsible for:

  • Exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government.
  • Policy development and coordination of policy.
  • The relationships with the rest of the United Kingdom, Europe and Wales Abroad.
  • Staffing/Civil Service

List of First Secretaries and First Ministers

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political party Elected Government Deputy
1 AlunMichael crop Alun Michael
AM for Mid and West Wales
As First Secretary
12 May
9 February
Labour 1999 Michael
Lab (minority)
2 Rhodri Morgan Rhodri Morgan
AM for Cardiff West
Office renamed First Minister on 16 October 2000
9 February
9 December
Labour Interim Morgan
Lab (minority)
1st Morgan
Mike German (LD)
2000–01 and 2002-03

Jenny Randerson
2001–02 (acting)

2003 2nd Morgan
Lab (minority)
2007 3rd Morgan
Lab (minority)
4th Morgan
Ieuan Wyn Jones
(Plaid Cymru)
3 Carwyn Jones AM (28092341921) Carwyn Jones
AM for Bridgend
9 December
12 December
2018 [2]
Labour 1st Jones
2011 2nd Jones
Lab (minority)
2016 3rd Jones
LabLD - Ind
4 Mark Drakeford - National Assembly for Wales Mark Drakeford
AM for Cardiff West
13 December
Incumbent Labour Drakeford
LabLD - Ind

Previous nominations


2018 Nomination of First Minister
Date: 12 December 2018
Candidate Votes
Mark Drakeford
30 / 56
Paul Davies
12 / 56
Adam Price
(Plaid Cymru)
9 / 56
5 / 56
Source: National Assembly[3]


2016 Nomination of First Minister
Date: 11 May 2016
Candidate Votes
Carwyn Jones
29 / 58
Leanne Wood[a]
(Plaid Cymru)
29 / 58
0 / 56
Source: National Assembly[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Appointing a new First Minister". National Assembly for Wales. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Agenda for Plenary on Wednesday, 12 December 2018, 13.30". 12 December 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Agenda for Plenary on Wednesday, 18 May 2016, 13.30". 18 May 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Agenda for Plenary on Wednesday, 11 May 2016, 13.30". 11 May 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2019.


  1. ^ later withdrew on the 18 May 2016[4]
  • Dates are from World Statesmen and various BBC News Online articles from 1999 to 2003.

External links

  • [1] Roles and Responsibilities.
  • [2] Welsh Government: Cabinet and ministers.
Bridgend County Borough

Bridgend (Welsh: Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr) is a county borough in southern Wales, UK. The county borough has a total population of 139,200 people, and contains the town of Bridgend, after which it is named. Its members of the National Assembly for Wales are Carwyn Jones AM, the former First Minister of Wales and Huw Irranca-Davies AM representing the Ogmore Constituency, and its Members of Parliament are Madeleine Moon and Chris Elmore.

The county borough lies at the geographical heart of south Wales. Its land area of 285 square kilometres stretches 20 km from east to west and occupies the Llynfi, Garw and Ogmore valleys. The largest town is Bridgend (pop: 39,773), followed by Maesteg (pop: 20,700) and seaside resort of Porthcawl (pop: 19,238). It is situated on the Ogmore River and its tributaries, although the Ewenny and Ogwr Fach rivers form the border with the Vale of Glamorgan for much of their length.

It was formed on 1 April 1996 under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994. It includes all of the former Ogwr borough apart from the communities of Wick, St Bride's Major and Ewenny, which went to Vale of Glamorgan. Bridgend County Borough was divided into 20 communities: Brackla, Bridgend, Cefn Cribwr, Coity Higher, Coychurch Higher, Coychurch Lower, Cornelly, Garw Valley, Laleston, Llangynwyd Lower, Llangynwyd Middle, Maesteg, Merthyr Mawr, Newcastle Higher, Ogmore Valley, Pencoed, Porthcawl, Pyle, St Bride's Minor and Ynysawdre. The communities of Brackla, Bridgend and Coychurch Lower make up the town of Bridgend.


Bryngwran is a village and community in the Welsh county of Anglesey, located on the A5 London to Holyhead trunk road. It lies 8.1 miles (13.0 km) west of Llangefni, 7.0 miles (11.3 km) south west of Llannerch-y-medd and 7.4 miles (11.9 km) south east of Holyhead, and includes the villages of Bryngwran, Capel Gwyn and Engedi. At the 2001 census the community had a population of 781, increasing to 894 at the 2011 election.Saint Peulan's Church stands in an isolated position at Llanbeulan, in the south east of the community. A medieval building, it partly dates from the 12th century, but was extended in the 14th, and restored in the mid-19th century. The gritstone font dates from late 12th century. It is considered an example of a "rural medieval church retaining its simple character" and is Grade II* listed. Pandy Treban, a former fulling mill in the north of the community, and the 18th-century bridge at Pont Factory Cymunod, over the Afon Crigyll on the border with Bodedern, are Grade II listed.Politician Alun Michael was born in Bryngwran in 1943. He served as First Minister of Wales and leader of Welsh Labour from May 1999 to February 2000, Member of Parliament for Cardiff South and Penarth from 1987 to 2012, and Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales since 2012.

Carmarthen Grammar School

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Carmarthen was a selective secondary school in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire: among its ex pupils were the educationalist, Griffith Jones; the early Methodist leader and Bible publisher, Peter Williams; the senior Admiralty civil servant, Sir Walter St David Jenkins; the clergyman, James Rice Buckley; the Welsh international rugby players, Roy Bergiers,Gerald Davies and Ray Gravell;,the tennis commentator and journalist Gerald Williams. and the journalist and author Byron Rogers. Old boys who have excelled in the political sphere include Denzil Davies and Mark Drakeford,who was appointed First Minister of Wales in 2018.

Carwyn Jones

Carwyn Howell Jones, AM (born 21 March 1967) is a Welsh Labour politician who served as First Minister of Wales and Leader of the Welsh Labour Party from 2009 to 2018. He served as Counsel General for Wales from 2007 to 2009. Jones was first elected Member of the National Assembly (AM) for Bridgend in 1999.

Jones served in the Cabinet as Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Welsh Government from 2000 to 2002, and as Minister of State for the Environment from 2003 to 2007. Following the 2007 election, he was appointed Minister for Education, Culture and the Welsh Language, and thereafter Counsel General for Wales and Leader of the House following the One Wales coalition agreement with Plaid Cymru.

Jones succeeded Rhodri Morgan as Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister on 1 December 2009, where Jones was elected with over 50% of the vote. The third politician to lead the Welsh Government, Jones was nominated as First Minister by the National Assembly on 9 December 2009, and was sworn into office the following day. On 21 April 2018 he announced he would step down as First Minister in the autumn, and was succeeded by Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford in December 2018.

Counsel General for Wales

The Counsel General for Wales is the Welsh Government's Law Officer, which means the Government's chief legal adviser and representative in the courts. In addition to these "lawyer" roles the Counsel General also works to uphold the rule of law and integrity of the legal community in Wales, and has a number of important specific statutory functions, some of which are to be exercised independently of government and in the public interest.

The Counsel General is appointed by the sovereign on the recommendation of the First Minister of Wales. The recommendation of the First Minister to appoint or remove the Counsel General can only be made if approved by the National Assembly for Wales. The Counsel General is a member of the Welsh Government and attends Cabinet meetings at the invitation of the First Minister. Although not a Minister, the Counsel General is bound by the Ministerial Code which makes some specific provision in relation to the role.

Deputy First Minister for Wales

The Deputy First Minister for Wales (Welsh: Dirprwy Brif Weinidog Cymru) is the deputy leader of the Welsh Government, the devolved administration for Wales. The post was created in October 2000 when Mike German of the Welsh Liberal Democrats was appointed Deputy First Minister as part of a coalition government with Welsh Labour. Since the office was created, the holder has been the party leader of the junior partner in coalition with Welsh Labour.

The last holder was Ieuan Wyn Jones of Plaid Cymru who was also the Minister for the Economy and Transport. Ieuan Wyn Jones served in the office as part of the One Wales agreement between Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour.

Drakeford government

The Drakeford government is a Labour-led government formed after the resignation of Carwyn Jones as First Minister of Wales on 11th December 2018, and the subsequent appointment of Mark Drakeford in his place. The government is also supported by the sole Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Kirsty Williams and the independent AM Dafydd Elis-Thomas.Between May 2016 and December 2018 the senior tier of ministers were referred to as Cabinet Secretaries and the junior tier as Ministers, from the formation of this government they reverted to their previous titles of Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers respectively.

Ieuan Wyn Jones

Ieuan Wyn Jones (born 22 May 1949) is a Welsh politician who was the Deputy First Minister in the Welsh Government from 2007 to 2011. He was the Member of the National Assembly for Wales for the Ynys Môn constituency from 1999 to 2013, and he was also leader of Plaid Cymru from 2000 to 2012. Jones served as Member of Parliament for Ynys Môn constituency from 1987 to 2001, when he retired to focus on his work in the Welsh Assembly. In 2007, Jones was named Wales' "Politician of the Year" by the BBC Wales programme. He resigned from the Welsh Assembly on 20 June 2013. In 2017 he unsuccessfully sought to return to the House of Commons for his former constituency.

Jane Hutt

Jane Hutt AM (born 15 December 1949) is a Welsh Labour politician and Minister in the Welsh Government. Hutt has represented the Vale of Glamorgan constituency since the National Assembly for Wales was established in 1999.

She served as a government Minister continually from May 1999 until November 2017 making her at the time the longest serving Labour Government Minister in history, before being succeeded by former First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones., she was reappointed to government by First Minister Mark Drakeford in December 2018, to serve as Chief Whip, a role now assigned as a junior minister. She is due to overtake Carwyn Jones as the longest serving Welsh Minister in mid-2019.

Julie Morgan

Julie Morgan (born 2 November 1944) is a British Labour Party politician, who has been Welsh Assembly member for Cardiff North seat in the Welsh Assembly since the 2011 elections. She was previously Member of Parliament (MP) for Cardiff North from 1997 until 2010.

She was married to former First Minister of Wales Rhodri Morgan until his death in 2017.

List of 2003 British incumbents

This is a list of 2003 British incumbents.

List of cultural icons of Wales

The List of cultural icons of Wales is a list of links to known cultural icons of Wales.

Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford (born 19 September 1954) is a Welsh politician serving as First Minister of Wales and Leader of Welsh Labour since 2018. He served as Cabinet Secretary for Finance in the Jones Government from 2016 to 2018, Brexit Minister from 2017 to 2018 and Minister for Health and Social Services from 2013 to 2016. Drakeford was first elected Member of the National Assembly (AM) for Cardiff West in 2011.

Drakeford is considered to be on the left wing of the Labour Party, and is supported by some members of the grassroots groups Welsh Labour Grassroots and Momentum. He was the only sitting Cabinet member in any part of the UK to support Jeremy Corbyn in his bid for the national leadership of the Labour Party in 2015, while he was Minister for Health and Social Services.In addition to his membership of the Labour Party, he is a member of Unite the Union and UNISON, and a solidarity member of LGBT Labour.

One Wales

One Wales (Welsh: Cymru'n Un, pronounced [ˈkəmrɨn ˈɨn]) was the coalition agreement for the National Assembly for Wales between Labour and Plaid Cymru agreed to by Rhodri Morgan, First Minister of Wales and leader of Welsh Labour, and Ieuan Wyn Jones, leader of Plaid Cymru, on 27 June 2007. It was negotiated in the wake of the preceding National Assembly election which resulted in a large Labour plurality, but no majority. Labour and Plaid Cymru approved the document in separate votes on 6 and 7 July, respectively.

Rhodri Morgan

Hywel Rhodri Morgan (29 September 1939 – 17 May 2017) was a Welsh Labour politician who was the First Minister of Wales and the Leader of Welsh Labour from 2000 to 2009. He was also the Assembly Member for Cardiff West from 1999 to 2011 and the Member of Parliament for Cardiff West from 1987 to 2001. He was, as of 2018, the longest-serving First Minister of Wales. He was elected Chancellor of Swansea University on 24 October 2011.

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner

The South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner is the police and crime commissioner, an elected official tasked with setting out the way crime is tackled by South Wales Police in the South Wales region. The post was created in November 2012, following an election held on 15 November 2012, and replaced the South Wales Police Authority. The current incumbent is former First Minister of Wales Alun Michael, who represents the Labour Party.

Welsh Government

The Welsh Government (Welsh: Llywodraeth Cymru) is the devolved government of Wales. It was established by the Government of Wales Act 1998, which created a devolved administration for Wales in line with the result of the 1997 referendum on devolution. The Welsh Government formally separated from the Assembly in 2007 following the passage of the Government of Wales Act 2006. The government consists of ministers, who attend cabinet meetings, and deputy ministers who do not, and also of a counsel general. It is led by the first minister, usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly, who selects ministers and deputy ministers with the approval of the assembly. The government is responsible for tabling policy in devolved areas (such as health, education, economic development, transport and local government) for consideration by the assembly and implementing policy that has been approved by it.The current Welsh Government is a Labour led administration, following the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election. Mark Drakeford has been the First Minister of Wales since December 2018.

Welsh Language Board

The Welsh Language Board (Welsh: Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg) was a statutory body set up by Her Majesty's Government under the Welsh Language Act 1993. It was an Assembly Sponsored Public Body. It began its life under John Walter Jones OBE, and its last chief executive was Meirion Prys Jones, with Meri Huws acting as chair.

It received an annual government grant of £13m which was used to "promote and facilitate" the use of the Welsh language.

The board was responsible for administering the Welsh Language Act and for seeing that public bodies in Wales kept to its terms. Over 500 Welsh language schemes were agreed with a range of bodies named under the provisions of the act.

In cases where there were concerns that public bodies were not complying with their Welsh language schemes, the board could hold a statutory investigation. If the board's investigations indicated that an organisation has broken its own Welsh language scheme, it could produce recommendations to the organisation and, ultimately, refer the matter to the minister for heritage at the Welsh Assembly Government.

The board's private sector and business team worked with a wide variety of large and small companies. Since launching the private sector Welsh language policy in November 2008, over 100 businesses produced a policy, and 150 companies signed up to the Board's "Investing in Welsh scheme", indicating support for the language.

The Welsh Language Board was at the forefront of promoting bilingual design, in part by making annual bilingual awards. In 2006, winners included FBA, Glass Hammer, Synergy Creative Design & Marketing, Hoffi, 6721, Elfen, Zodshop and Departures.

In winter 2004 Rhodri Morgan, previous First Minister of Wales, announced his decision to abolish the Welsh Language Board. This decision evoked a mixed reaction throughout Wales: welcomed by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg but met with scepticism by others. It was abolished on 31 March 2012 and replaced by the Welsh Language Commissioner: Meri Huws was the first commissioner. The board's powers were transferred to the Welsh Government and the commissioner.

Welsh Seal

The Welsh Seal (Welsh: Sêl Gymreig) is a seal used for Wales. Provision for a Welsh seal was made in Part 4 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 which also designated the First Minister of Wales as "Keeper of the Welsh Seal". The seal is used by the First Minister to seal (and so bring into force) letters patent signed by the monarch giving Royal Assent to bills passed by the National Assembly for Wales in order for those bills to become Acts of the Assembly.

First Minister of Wales Wales
Her Majesty's Government
Northern Ireland Executive
Scottish Government
Welsh Government

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