Carwyn Jones is standing to retain his place as Welsh Labour's representative on the Labour Party's National Executive Committee. Following yesterday's article from challenger Lynne Jones the former first minister sets out his pitch.

"POLITICAL parties exist to win elections. If they can’t they serve no purpose.

This was something I learned early on in politics. We haven’t won an election since 2005 and since then many thousands of people who have looked up to us to help them have not received it.

Worse still, we have at times entered periods of introspection where different factions within the party fought each other. On too many occasions the impression has been given that we are happier squabbling amongst ourselves than taking on the Tories.

I was proud to lead Welsh Labour and serve as First Minister for nine years and it was an honour to serve for nine years in government before that under someone who I looked up to in Rhodri Morgan.

Leading a Welsh Labour Government as it delivered so much for so many across Wales was the greatest honour.

READ MORE: Lynne Jones: 'Why I'm standing to be Welsh representative on Labour's NEC'

I led our party back into government in 2011 and 2016 and I want to help Keir Starmer lead a Labour UK government.  I’m also delighted to see the work that my successor, Mark Drakeford, is doing to create a better, fairer future in an unstable world.

We delivered a great deal together during my time as First Minister, from winning the 2011 referendum to creating the Well-Being of Future Generations Act.

We delivered a fairer landlord and tenant system and ensured that more people had a chance at living a longer life through the Human Transplantation Act. And yes, we kept faith with others in the broader Labour movement by protecting union rights in the devolved sector through the Trade Union Act, which the Tories are now trying to override.

When we created Welsh Labour we produced governments that kept on delivering for our people with a shared sense of purpose.

Many times, the question has been asked as to why Welsh Labour keeps on winning. On the face of it, it’s simple; make realistic yet radical promises and make sure you keep them.

But it’s about more than that, it’s about unity. Welsh Labour was always a broad church and in my Cabinets, there were many who shared different views on the direction the party should take. Yet we all pulled together, and the debates were respectful and invigorating.

At no time did I feel that there was a debilitating factional divide in the government or the party across Wales. This is what the rest of the party can learn from us in Welsh Labour.

I have always been strong voice for Wales in the wider Labour movement and with the support of our members I want to continue to do so.

It’s clear from the recently published Forde Report that the party had a problem with intense, often bitter factionalism which led to more energy being expanded at times on attacking other party members than on attacking the Tories. I deplore that.

The same impression is now being given by the Conservative Party where the leadership candidates have done a sterling job in laying into each other. Parties who fall into that trap lose elections.

Our party has always contained people with a wide range of views. It’s been our strength as a political movement. We must of course learn the lesson of the Forde Report and never again allow ourselves to descend into infighting which deflects from our mission to help those who need help the most and to create a prosperous and fair society.

As a little boy I remember those men who had worked in the anthracite pits. Old before their time, they struggled for breath every day, many in my family among them.

I saw what was done to mining communities in the 1980s, which brought me into Labour politics. I saw at first-hand what the Thatcher years did for Wales where communities and families were expendable in the face of an unbridled free market philosophy.


I rejoiced when a Labour government was elected in 1997 for their sakes but now, after twelve years of Tory government I believe people are crying out for a new Labour Government that will bring to an end the coalition of chaos that is the current Conservative government .

We can deliver that change, but only if we are both principled and united. If we fail on those counts, we will not win.

I want to serve another term on the NEC to make sure that we continue on the path to victory and deliver a Britain where prosperity, fairness, justice and opportunity are at the heart of society. One more push and we can get there, and let’s show we’re a political party that wins elections again."

Carwyn Jones was the Assembly/Senedd Member for Bridgend from 1999 to 2021 and first minister of Wales, and Welsh Labour leader, from 2009 to 2018. He is currently Welsh Labour's representative on the Labour Party's National Executive Committee.

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