• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Zambian-born Vaughan Gething to become Wales first black leader

Vaughan Getting (1)

Vaughan Gething will become the first minister of Wales after winning the Labour Party elections, making him the first Black leader in Europe.

“Today, we turn a page in the book of our nation’s history… 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,” Gething said in his acceptance speech.

Gething, who was born in Zambia in Southern Africa, will take over from Mark Drakeford who is expected to resign on Tuesday after five years leading the Welsh government, following an announcement in December. Gething will replace him the following day.

As part of his promises to the Welsh, Gething has committed to improving the Welsh NHS, putting green jobs at the forefront of the country’s economic future, building more homes and reliable transport systems, and driving up education standards towards leading Wales to a more prominent position globally.

“Devolution is not something that I have had to get used to, or to adapt to, or to apologise for. Devolution, Welsh solutions to Welsh problems and opportunities is in my blood,” he said in his speech.

With Gething’s historic 51.7 percent win over Jeremy Miles, it means that each country within the British Isles is now ruled by immigrants from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Rishi Sunak who ministers over the UK birthed from Kenya to Indian grandparents. ⁠Humza Youssef who heads Scotland hails from Pakistan. ⁠Leo Varadka, prime minister of Ireland born in from India, and now Vaughan Gething.

Born to a Welsh father and a Zambian mother, Gething spent most of his life in the Welsh nation. He pursued a legal career before being elected to the Welsh Parliament in 2011.

Gething however, faces criticism over a £200,000 donation he accepted for his leadership campaign from Dauson Environmental Group, a company owned by someone twice convicted of environmental offences. Plaid Cymru, a centre-left to left-wing Welsh nationalist political party which has a cooperation agreement with Labour in the Senedd, called for the money to be paid back.