Drakeford, Mark

Overview

Mark Drakeford is the Leader of the Welsh Labour Party and has served as First Minister of Wales since 2018.

Although sometimes described as ‘more post office than box office’, Drakeford has proved popular with voters, and was re-elected in 2021, with Labour matching its best ever performance in the Welsh Assembly elections.

Following a career as a probation officer and youth justice worker, Mark Drakeford’s first elected role was a Labour Councillor on South Glamorgan County Council.

Mr Drakeford served on the local authority for 8 years (1985-1993), before then opting for a job in academia.

Drakeford later became a Special Adviser on health and social care to Rhodri Morgan, when Morgan was First Minister of Wales. Holding this role until Morgan’s resignation in 2011, Drakeford went on to succeed his former boss as the Welsh Assembly Member for Cardiff West.

Drakeford became Chair of the Welsh Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee (2011-2013) before becoming Minister for Health and Social Services (2013-2016).

Drakeford moved to became WalesCabinet Secretary for Finance (2016-2018) and Brexit Minister (2017-2018).

Following Carwyn Jones’ resignation in 2018, Drakeford succeeded him as First Minister in the Senedd.

During his time as First Minister, Drakeford led the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Wales. In doing so, Drakeford at times, charted a different course to Prime Minister Johnson and the UK government in London. Both Drakeford’s wife and mother caught the virus.

Mark Drakeford

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford – Political Views

Drakeford is positioned on the left of the Labour Party.  He was a prominent backer of Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015 Labour leadership election.

At the time, he said Corbyn was the candidate ‘whose views most closely reflect my own’. Drakeford was one of the few senior Labour figures to support Corbyn at the time.

In his own pitch for Labour leadership in Wales, Drakeford won the backing of the left-wing campaign group, Momentum. In the campaign, he promised to follow ‘radical socialist traditions’ if he was elected.

Drakeford is a supporter of the Union and has said he wouldn’t back Welsh independence in a referendum on the subject.

However, in 2019, Drakeford admitted his support for the union was ‘not unconditional’. Following this, Plaid Cymru’s leader, Adam Price, suggested Mark Drakeford was ‘indy-curious’; Drakeford has denied this.

How old is Mark Drakeford?

Born on 19th September 1954, Drakeford is in his late sixties.

Career before politics

In Drakeford’s final year of his University course, he answered an advert in the Guardian to become a probation officer. Drakeford was struck by his experiences and in the 2018 Welsh leadership election he pushed for the devolution of the Probation Service.

Drakeford also worked as Barnardos project leader in Ely and Caerau in South Wales.

3 Things you might not know about the Welsh First Minister

He has a degree in Latin
As a boy, Drakeford went to Carmathen Grammar School. The Welsh Labour Leader then went on to study Latin at the University of Kent.

As a lecturer he once taught former Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood
During his time as a lecturer, Drakeford taught former Plaid Cymru Leader, Leanne Wood. Drakeford even gave Wood an extension for her final coursework deadline due to her standing for Plaid Cymru at the 1997 General Election.

Wood later said, ‘He believed I would learn more running a general election campaign about how to help people than on the course for two months’.

He is a clarinet playing cricket fan
As a boy, Drakeford developed a love for both cricket and the clarinet. Drakeford has previously commented, that ‘When I come back in the next life, I’ve already decided that I’m going to be a cricket groundsman’.

Social Media

Twitter Handle – @fmwales

Facebook Address – @markdrakefordwales

Furious Clash Between Mark Drakeford And Andrew R. T. Davies

Wales First Minister’s New Year Message