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Mark Drakeford Emotionally Resigns as Welsh First Minister After ‘Toughest and Most Heartbreaking’ Year Following Wife’s Passing

Credits: Wales Online

Mark Drakeford, aged 69, delivered an emotional resignation speech in the Senedd, Cardiff, on Tuesday. He was visibly moved as he bid farewell to his role as First Minister of Wales. His speech was marked by gratitude towards the people of Wales and his colleagues and reflections on personal tragedy.

Drakeford, who had served as First Minister since 2018, expressed heartfelt appreciation for the support he received from the people of Wales during his tenure.

He fought back tears as he recounted the profound loss he experienced with the sudden passing of his wife, Clare, in early 2023 after 46 years of marriage.

Acknowledging the challenges and achievements of his time in office, Drakeford emphasized his commitment to fulfilling the promises made to the people of Wales.

Mark Drakeford (Credits: LBC)

He reflected on the complexities of governance, navigating through interactions with multiple prime ministers and ministers while prioritizing the long-term well-being of future generations.

Speaking poignantly about his grief, Drakeford highlighted the compassion and kindness colleagues and friends showed during his darkest moments. He underscored the importance of camaraderie and understanding among peers, transcending political differences in times of personal adversity.

Among his most cherished memories as First Minister, Drakeford recounted attending an event commemorating the Aberfan disaster, a tragic event in Welsh history.

He reflected on the resilience and solidarity displayed by the Welsh community in the face of profound loss, emphasizing the collective responsibility to honor the memory of those affected.

Mark Drakeford (Credits: New Statesman)

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies, Drakeford’s political opponent in the Senedd, also expressed gratitude and admiration for the outgoing First Minister.

Despite ideological differences, Davies commended Drakeford for his steadfast leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledged the positive impact of his tenure.

In a touching moment, Davies revealed Drakeford’s gesture of kindness towards him during his illness in 2021, underscoring the genuine camaraderie that transcended political divisions.

Concluding his speech, Drakeford formally resigned as First Minister of Wales, signing a letter addressed to the King. The King will now confirm his resignation before the Senedd reconvenes on Wednesday, marking the end of Drakeford’s tenure and the beginning of a new chapter in Welsh politics.

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