Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford (born 1954) is a Welsh Labour Party politician who has been the First Minister of Wales and Leader of Welsh Labour since 2018. He previously served in the Welsh Government as Cabinet Secretary for Finance from 2016 to 2018 and Minister for Health and Social Services from 2013 to 2016. Drakeford was first elected as the Member of the Senedd (MS) for Cardiff West in 2011.


Mark Drakeford

Drakeford in 2017
First Minister of Wales
Assumed office
13 December 2018
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byCarwyn Jones
Leader of Welsh Labour
Assumed office
6 December 2018
DeputyCarolyn Harris
UK party leaderJeremy Corbyn
Keir Starmer
Preceded byCarwyn Jones
Cabinet Secretary for Finance
In office
19 May 2016  13 December 2018
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
Preceded byJane Hutt
Succeeded byRebecca Evans
Minister for Brexit
In office
3 November 2017  13 December 2018
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byJeremy Miles
Minister for Health and Social Services
In office
14 March 2013  19 May 2016
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
DeputyVaughan Gething
Preceded byLesley Griffiths
Succeeded byVaughan Gething
Member of the Senedd
for Cardiff West
Assumed office
5 May 2011
Preceded byRhodri Morgan
Majority11,211 (30.7%)[1]
Personal details
Born1954 (age 6667)
Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)
Clare Buckle
(m. 1977)
Children3
Alma materUniversity of Kent
University of Exeter
CabinetSecond Drakeford government

Drakeford was born in Carmarthen in West Wales. He studied Latin at the University of Kent and the University of Exeter. He was a lecturer at the University College of Swansea from 1991 to 1995 and at the University of Wales, Cardiff from 1995 to 1999. He was a Professor of Social Policy and Applied Social Sciences at Cardiff University from 2003 to 2013.

Drakeford was elected at the 2011 National Assembly for Wales election for Cardiff West. In 2013, First Minister Carwyn Jones appointed Drakeford to the Welsh Government as Minister for Health and Social Services. He served as Cabinet Secretary for Finance from 2016 and 2018 and as Minister for Brexit from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, he was elected to succeed Jones as Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister. He has led the Welsh Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 2021 Senedd election, Drakeford led Welsh Labour to win 30 seats, a working majority, and was reappointed as First Minister.

Drakeford is widely considered to belong to the left-wing of the Labour Party, and is supported by some members of Welsh Labour Grassroots and Momentum.[2] He was the only sitting Cabinet member in any part of the UK to support Jeremy Corbyn in his bid for the national leadership of the Labour Party in 2015, while he was Minister for Health and Social Services.[3]