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LONDON: Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced his resignation on Wednesday, heralding another political transition in the UK after a change of leader in Scotland and Northern Ireland — and multiple prime ministers.

Drakeford, 69, said he hoped that a new head of the devolved administration in Cardiff would be in place next year.

“When I stood for election as Leader of Welsh Labour, I said I would stand down during the current Senedd term,” Drakeford said referring to the Welsh Parliament.

“That time has now come,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter

Fluent Welsh speaker Drakeford, who will stay in post until his successor is chosen, has been first minister since December 2018 — and seen four UK prime ministers come and go.

His tenure has been dominated by the effects of austerity policies of the Conservative government in London, then Brexit and the Covid pandemic.

An advocate for more devolved powers for Wales, he once claimed that

the United Kingdom “is over” and a new union is required to reflect a “voluntary association of four nations”.

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