Who is Vaughan Gething, Wales' next first minister after Labour leadership win?

He is set to be the first Black leader of a government in the UK

Vaughan Gething first minister of wales Vaughan Gething poses for a photo, in a lecture hall at Cardiff University, after being elected as the next Welsh Labour leader and First Minister of Wales, in Cardiff | AP

Vaughan Gething is set to become the first Black leader of Wales' semi-autonomous government after winning the Welsh Labour Party leadership election. He won the election with 51.7 per cent of the vote. 

Gething will be replacing First Minister Mark Drakeford, who had announced to step down last year once a replacement was chosen. He beat Education Minister Jeremy Miles in the election to become the First Minister. 

Gething, 50, will be the fifth first minister since Wales' national legislature was established in 1999. Gething is currently the finance minister in the Drakeford cabinet. He is expected to take charge next week after the Parliament meeting.

Wales is one of four countries that make up the United Kingdom, along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The British government in London is responsible for defence, foreign affairs and other UK-wide issues, while administrations in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast control areas such as education and health, reported The Associated Press.

During Gething's campaign, he was criticised over the alleged acceptance of 200,000 pounds ($255,000) in donations from a recycling company that was found guilty of environmental offences and breaching health and safety regulations.

However, Gething said the donations were properly declared under electoral rules.

While speaking to the media after the win, Gething described Drakeford as the "right leader at the right time in the pandemic". 

"We will indeed be forever in his debt for his forensic approach to public policy through that time," he said.

He also praised his rival, Miles, who would have been Wales' first gay leader if he had won the elections.

"Today, we turn a page in the book of our nation's history. A history we write together," he said. "Not just because I have the honour of becoming the first black leader in any European country- but because the generational dial has jumped too," he added. 

Who is Vaughan Gething?

Gething was born in Zambia in 1974. His father, a vet from the Vale of Glamorgan in south Wales and his mother, a Zambian farmer had met in southern Africa. 

Earlier, his family had experienced racism when they moved to the UK. At the age of 17, Gething joined the Labour Party. He studied at Aberystwyth and Cardiff universities. He became the first black president of the National Union of Students Wales. 

Gething and his wife Michelle have been living in Penarth since 2011.

He made history in 2013 when he became the first black minister in any of the devolved nations. He served as the health minister during the Covid pandemic times.

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