Drakeford gains Unite and NUM S Wales endorsements for Welsh Labour leader

Mark Drakeford, who last week launched his campaign for the Welsh Labour leadership with a statement of socialist solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn, has made a strong start to his campaign, winning two key union endorsements.

Drakeford’s endorsement by Unite has been confirmed this evening, with congratulations tweeted by Welsh regional secretary Peter Hughes, general secretary Len McCluskey and others:

hughes unite.png

Drakeford was also endorsed by South Wales NUM (National Union of Mineworkers). Welcoming the announcement, Drakeford said the 1984 Miners’ Strike was a key formative moment in his political career:

During the miners’ strike of 1984 I went as an official observer from my union to report back on picketing at collieries in south Wales. We would leave at 4-30 in the morning to visit various pitheads as witnesses to events…and the sight of seeing hundreds of police deployed by Thatcher’s government in that desperate dispute is seared into my memory.

Drakeford’s prospects are considerably strengthened by the recent decision by a special Welsh Labour conference to introduce OMOV (one member, one vote) for the party’s leadership elections.

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  1. No one consulted the union members. And as for OMOV, anyone who read reports of the Special Conference called would know that the trade unions were determined to keep the Electoral College. It was the sheer hard work and determination of the party members that forced through this democratising change in the teeth of Cardiff and union opposition to maintain their undemocratic grip on selection and election.

    To say that Drakeford has the support of the trade union bosses (in Cardiff) may make a great splash in a small pond. The wider pool of party members is capable of making its own choice, IF ASKED. Given the struggle to democratise Welsh Labour by the members, it seems being anointed by the “king makers” may actually be the final straw to prove that Drakeford is not the “21C socialist” his campaign strives to promote, but as the members see it, another tired and stale placeman for the current regime. The trade union bosses prove yet again that they have no desire for change. Even Drakeford himself, in the week of announcing his candidature, told TV viewers he was the candidate of “no change” and “a caretaker for for five years”. This was the real Drakeford – not the faux “Only Real Socialist in the Village” campaign being waged. The membership and the voters are crying out for change in Cardiff. Drakeford is indeed more “Carwyn” for another 5 years, not 21C socialism. Or as the current membership say #deedsnotwords.

    1. I forgot to mention – labour party members are overwhelmingly trade Union members too in Wales. Just in case anyone tries the old chestnut of saying the party membership is anti union. Far from it, but it seems democratisation of the Welsh TU is yet another battle.

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