(Title Image: BBC Wales)
The Local Government Secretary, Alun Davies (Lab, Blaenau Gwent), has claimed there’s a deliberate campaign to limit the choice of candidates in the forthcoming Welsh Labour leadership collection, amidst growing concern and embarrassment within the party that the campaign may be run without a woman on the ballot paper.
At present, the only woman prospective candidate is the Lifelong Learning & Welsh Language Minister, Eluned Morgan (Lab, Mid & West Wales).
Alun Davies, who withdrew his candidacy – along with the Social Services Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies (Lab, Ogmore) – to support Eluned Morgan’s bid, said in a blog on the subject of democracy:
“And it reflects very poorly on the whole of the National Assembly Labour Party that people are not prepared to allow a woman on the ballot paper. And make no mistake. This is not an accident nor an oversight. It is not inadvertent and nor is it unintentional. It is the direct consequence of a planned campaign to limit the choice available to members of the party. And the consequence of this is that Welsh Labour will no longer be a credible voice for equality or for fairness if it becomes the only Welsh political party this year to actively prevent a woman reaching the ballot.”
– Local Government Secretary, Alun Davies AM
Currently, the Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford (Lab, Cardiff West) and the Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething (Lab, Cardiff S. & Penarth) have enough nominations to run.
However, Mark Drakeford has secured the nominations of 16 AMs – far more than the minimum number needed – and there have been calls for at least one of them to support Eluned Morgan’s candidacy, with the First Minister also discussing the possibility of doing so himself.