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Rhodri Morgan

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. In the 1997 General Election, he stood for the Labour Party in Cardiff West. 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 he 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.

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

On May 1, 2003, Labour under Morgan's leadership was re-elected in the Assembly elections by a landslide. Morgan acheived 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%.



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