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Rhodri Morgan

Born                          29 September 1939

Constituency          Cardiff West

Party                          Labour

Majority                     6,837 in the 2003 Welsh Assembly elections

Rhodri Morgan became First Minister of Wales on his third attempt after being defeated firstly by Ron Davies and then by Alun Michael following Davies' resignation. He has an unique style and was likened by one journalist as having "the air of a mad professor."

Morgan was educated at Whitchurch Grammar School, St John's College Oxford and Harvard University. He started his career working as a Civil Servant before being appointed the Head of the European Commission Office in Cardiff, a post he held from 1980 till 1987.

He was elected in 1987 as MP for Cardiff West and was appointed as Labour's spokesman on Energy a year later and then on Welsh Affairs from 1992 - 1997. To the surprise of many commentators Morgan was left out of the Welsh Office team after the Labour Party took office in 1997.

An eloquent and witty Commons performer, he was appointed as Chair of the Select Committee on Public Administration in 1997 and elected the Chair of the Welsh Group of Labour MP in 1998.

He was elected to the Welsh Assembly in the 1999 elections as the member for Cardiff West and was the only Labour Candidate to actually increase the Labour Vote in his constituency since the 1997 General Election.

 Following Ron Davies' resignation Morgan was clear favourite to succeed him but lost out when Alun Michael controversially secured the Union block vote in the Labour Electoral College system despite Morgan winning the Party Member vote by 2-1.  He was appointed Economic Development Secretary in Alun Michael's first Cabinet. 

When Michael himself resigned Rhodri Morgan was elected as the sole candidate for Labour's candidate for First Minister.

Morgan made radical changes by entering into a coalition with the Welsh Liberal Democrats and changing the title of his role from First Secretary to First Minister.

He led Labour into the 2003 Welsh Assembly elections where he increased  Labour's seats to 30 and overturned Plaid majorities in traditional Labour seats such as Islwyn, Rhondda and  Llanelli.

Rhodri Morgan was re-elected First Secretary of the Assembly on 7 May 2003.




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Copyright 2006 | Jason Thomas Williams