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Shooting must engage with new Welsh First Minister

Labour politician Mark Drakeford announced he is leaving his role as Welsh First Minister after five years in the job. Mr Drakeford will step down in March, with a new Welsh Labour leader due to be elected before Easter. 

Mr Drakeford’s Labour government was behind the abandoned attempt to license the release of game birds in Wales last autumn, which would have paved the way for a future full ban on game shooting. The government, which includes anti-shooting climate minister Julie James, also banned the use of all humane cable restraints for predator control. Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles will contest the leadership. 

Geraint Jones, headkeeper at the Coed Coch Estate in North Wales, told Shooting Times: “I think it’s a Welsh Labour party line and not an individual one. The majority of Labour politicians in Wales seem to be anti-countryside so only time will tell how this change of leadership will affect shooting. I hope our shooting organisations engage as quickly as possible to secure the future of the way of life and the sport.”