All four governments in the U.K. are led by non-White men for the first time ever

Vaughan Gething made history on Wednesday as he became the first Black leader to be elected as the first minister of Wales. This significant achievement comes after Gething won the leadership contest for Wales’ governing Labour Party just four days prior. Garnering 27 out of 51 votes in the Senedd, the Welsh parliament where Labour holds the majority, Gething now assumes the responsibility of leading the government in Cardiff.

“I take great pride in representing a modern Wales, but I also acknowledge the weighty responsibility that comes with it,” he expressed to lawmakers.

He expressed his desire to lead a nation that can embrace and celebrate our unique qualities, finding unity in the things that bring us together.

Once his appointment is approved by King Charles III, Gething will be sworn in – a mere formality.

Three out of the four governments in the U.K. are now led by nonwhite individuals. The U.K. Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has Indian heritage, while the Scottish First Minister, Humza Yousaf, was born into a Pakistani family in Britain. Leading Northern Ireland jointly are Michelle O’Neill and Emma Little-Pengelly. This marks a significant milestone as it is the first time that there are no White male heads of government in the U.K.

Wales, with a population of approximately 3 million, is one of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom, alongside England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The British government in London handles defense, foreign affairs, and other matters that affect the entire U.K., while the administrations in Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast respectively oversee budgetary aspects like education and healthcare.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gething played a crucial role as Wales’ health minister and has continued to serve as the country’s economy minister since 2021.

Taking charge of a government that frequently clashes with Sunak’s Conservative administration in London, he faces the challenge of addressing the wave of farmer protests over environmental regulations, a situation reminiscent of the tumult that has affected France and other European nations.

Gething’s leadership campaign faced a major setback when it was revealed that he had received £200,000 ($255,000) in donations from a recycling company that had been convicted for environmental offenses and violating health and safety regulations. Gething defended himself by stating that he had duly declared these donations in accordance with electoral rules.

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MBS Staff
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