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Will the unions choose who runs Welsh Government?

April 22, 2018 10:00 AM

So Carwyn Jones has decide to step down as First Minister in the Autumn after almost ten years leading the Welsh Government and a turbulent few months which must have taken its toll on him and his family.

Now the speculation begins as to who will be his successor and already a whole string of names has appeared. But just who will be choosing the person who will lead not only the Labour party in Wales but the Welsh Government and therefore potentially have a significant effect on the lives of all of us?

The Labour Assembly group? Labour members? Or the unions?

On the same day that Carwyn announced his intention to step down the new Welsh Labour deputy leader was announced. She (it has to be a female, their rules state that if the leader is a man the deputy must be a woman) didn't gain the majority vote of the members but won based on the votes of Parliamentarians and from 'associated organisations' which includes trade unions.

It has stepped up the call from some Labour members to change their voting system, which surely is nothing more than common sense. What other organisations allow non-members to vote for their leader? And surely when the electorate vote for the Labour party - although why they keep doing so is a mystery given their record in Wales - they have a right to expect that if they form the government then the First Minister will not be someone who has been randomly elected by a cross section of union members who may belong to any party or none.

It is about time the Labour party started taking democracy seriously internally and externally.