THE two candidates hoping to be elected as Welsh Labour's first-ever deputy leader have set out why they are standing for the role.

Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris and Cardiff North AM Julie Morgan are running for the role, to be elected at the part's spring conference next month. Under rules agreed last year the role must be filled by a woman as long as the party leader, currently first minister Carwyn Jones, is a man.

Mrs Morgan has experience of both sides of the political divide, having served as MP for Cardiff North from 1997 until 2010, and then the same seat in the Assembly since 2011. She is also the widow of former first minister Rhodri Morgan.

Ms Harris is a relative newcomer to politics, having first been elected in 2015. But she said she believed this would in fact serve as an advantage.

"I am full of enthusiasm," she said. "I've got fresh, new ideas and I'm motived by the newness of my position."

Mrs Morgan said her experience of Parliament and the Assembly, as well as having served as a council member, would stand her in good stead.

"That's a fairly unique position to be in, because I've got a good view of all those layers of government and how they work," she said. "And I would want to be a uniting figure between the three. I'm very keen to do that."

Although there had been calls to introduce a one-member-one-vote system, which was used to elect Jeremy Corbyn as the party's national leader, for the election, this was rejected in favour of the electoral college system. Through this system, one third of the vote is allocated to party members, AMs, MPs and MEPs account for another third and trade unions and affiliated bodies for the remainder.

Ms Harris said she believed this was the right decision, saying: "It's really important unions, who created the party, have a say".

But Mrs Morgan said she would have preferred to have seen the OMOV system introduced. "As an AM my vote is worth 400 times that of a party member," she said. "I really don't think that's fair."

She added, if she wins the role she would continue to campaign for the system to be introduced in future party elections.

Ms Harris said: "I really do understand what it's like to be struggling.

"And if I can achieve everything I have I think that makes me a role model, not just for women, but to many, many people in the community who don't think they can achieve things."

And Mrs Morgan said: "We are a very successful party in Wales, and that's because of our members.

"I would very much like to be able to harness the strength of those people and help them feel it's worth being a member."

Newport City Council leader Cllr Debbie Wilcox had announced plans to stand for the role, but was unable to secure enough nominations to be formally nominated. She is now backing Mrs Morgan.