Rhodri Morgan

From Academic Kids

The Right Honourable Hywel Rhodri Morgan (born September 29, 1939) is a Welsh politician and the second and current First Minister of the Welsh Assembly. He was born in Cardiff and educated at St John's College, Oxford and Harvard University. He was a Labour member of Glamorgan County Council from 1974 to 1980 and was elected as Labour MP for Cardiff West in 1987. From 1988 to 1994, he was a Shadow Environment Spokesman. He became First Minister on October 16, 2000, having held the same post under its old title of "First Secretary" since February of that year.

Controversy surrounded Morgan's rise to his present position. Originally one of only two sitting Welsh Labour MPs who chose to enter the Assembly, he vied with the sitting Secretary of State for Wales, Ron Davies, for the post of Labour leader. When Davies was forced to pull out of the running as a result of scandal, Morgan was favoured to take over. However, Downing Street preferred a less radical MP, Alun Michael, who had taken over from Davies as Welsh Secretary but had until then shown little interest in the Assembly. After what many thought was an unfair campaign, Michael was elected to the leadership. When Michael was forced to resign by a vote of no confidence instigated by opposition parties within the assembly, Morgan finally took up the post which many felt should have been his from the beginning.

On May 1, 2003, Labour under Morgan's leadership was re-elected in the Assembly elections by a landslide. Morgan achieved his treasured ambition of winning an overall majority (despite the fact that the election was held under proportional representation, Labour won 30 of the 60 seats in the Assembly and achieved an overall majority when an opposition AM was elected Presiding Officer of the Assembly) and named his cabinet on May 9. The separatist Plaid Cymru collapsed, losing 5 of its 17 AMs, and Labour gained back their traditional strongholds like the Rhondda on huge swings of up to 21%.

Rhodri Morgan's wife, Julie Morgan, is also a Cardiff MP.


Preceded by:
Alun Michael
First Secretary of Wales
First Minister of Wales
Orig. First Secretary
2000–
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

Template:End boxcy:Rhodri Morgan

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