WOULD-BE first minister Vaughan Gething heaped praise on the Tramshed Tech workspace and cited the Chartists as he launched his campaign for the Welsh Labour leadership in Newport on Monday.

The economy minister's choice of a place where digital and tech businesses are housed to host the event was there to reinforce his experience and message that he will be the person to drive Wales forward.

The kicked off his speech by thanking Tramshed Tech for hosting him in "this fantastic space they’ve created in the heart of Newport".

"It is such a brilliant hub for tech, digital and creative businesses, and a welcoming space for us here," he said.

Mr Gething was introduced by Newport West MS Jayne Bryant, who is supporting his bid, and pointed to support he received over the weekend from Udsaw, the shopworkers' union.

South Wales Argus: Vaughan Gething speaks in Newport

But his rival Jeremy Miles has been chalking up support too, with more Senedd members, council leaders and deputies backing him.

Mr Gething used his speech to praise the radical tradition of Newport, including the Chartists, and its "progressive Labour values".

He spoke beyond local issues to say that democratic values across the world felt under strain and called for people to stand up against culture wars.

"Our task, I believe, is to prevent the victory of division and hate - by building bridges, by listening, by recreating a bond of trust between people and power," he said.

"We must use the year ahead - and beyond - to renew the positive case for progressive politics.

"To remind people, that only through coming together, can we achieve for the many."

He set out his priorities as a first minister to be to create a healthy nation, to renew communities, to create green jobs, to raise standards in schools and colleges and improve childcare provision and give more powers to a minister for north Wales.

Mr Gething said he had been "tested in the eye of the storm" during Covid, when he was health minister.

He spoke of the fact he would be the first black first minister and said this was not 'playing the race card' as some might say.

"To those people I say - it is very easy not to care about identity when your own identity has never once been questioned or held you back," he said.