SPEAKING in the Senedd following being nominated to be First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford said:
Llywydd, can I begin by congratulating you and the new Dirprwy Lywydd on your election.
I also want to congratulate all the members of the Senedd – especially the new Members. I look forward to working with you all over the coming five years.
This has been an extraordinary election.
I am very proud that at this election 16 and 17-year-olds were able to vote for the first time – thanks to a law passed in this chamber.
Now it is time for all of us to use the mandate we have to put the ideas we campaigned on into practice.
To Move Wales Forward.
And that is the important starting point for my remarks today.
We are still in the pandemic, which has cast such a shadow on our lives.
It has stretched our NHS and the people working within it.
It has damaged lives and livelihoods.
This Welsh Labour Government will go on tackling coronavirus in the careful and cautious way we have done – by following the science and protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.
And we will lead Wales into a recovery that builds a stronger, greener and fairer future for everyone – no one will be held back and no one will be left behind.
I make this important pledge to the Senedd today in the very first session of this new term.
I will lead a Welsh Labour Government.
But we will govern in a way that seeks out consensus and will take on board new and progressive ideas – from wherever they come.
Ideas that can improve and enhance what we discuss in this chamber.
From coronavirus to clean air; from universal basic income to ensuring young people are not priced out of Welsh-speaking communities.
This will be a government that listens and will work collaboratively with others where it is in the interests of Wales to do so.
My offer to work with others extends beyond this Chamber.
To our partners in the public, private and third sectors across Wales.
To communities and to people across Wales.
We will deepen the social partnership we have developed over the last two decades by putting it into law and use it to focus on recovery and the work we need to do to make Wales a place fit for future generations.
And we will work in partnership with other governments too, across the UK wherever that is conducted with parity of esteem and respect.
Llywydd, it is my job to stand up for Wales and I will never stand back from doing so when the need arises. But my starting point will be to lead a government which is a constructive, engaged and positive partner in meeting those challenges which don’t, and never have, ended at our borders.
At all times, I will be accountable to this Senedd and to the people of Wales.
All of us here today share one thing in common – above all and across party divides.
We have a shared commitment to change people’s lives for the better and to realise the potential of this wonderful and unique nation.
Let us all work to make Wales stronger, greener and fairer.
Diolch yn fawr.