THE leader of Monmouthshire County Council has backed education minister Jeremy Miles to become the next first minister of Wales.

Council leader Cllr Mary Ann Brocklesby posted to X (formerly Twitter) at 5pm, December 14, saying: “He is a genuine individual who is committed to delivering a better Wales."

Council leaders of Newport and the Vale of Glamorgan, Cllr Jane Mudd and Cllr Lis Burnett, have also announced their support for the education minister.

Mr Miles has also registered support from two cabinet colleagues – climate change minister Julie James and rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths - though he is yet to formally launch his campaign.

Mark Drakeford announced he was quitting as Welsh Labour leader on Wednesday, December 13, with the aim of having a successor in place by March 2024.

Newport West MS Jayne Bryant is co-chairing the campaign for economy minister Vaughan Gething, who was the first to enter the race.

Who is Jeremy Miles?

Born in Pontarddulais, Swansea, Mr Miles studied law at Oxford University before swapping the role of student for teacher at Poland’s Warsaw University.

He then practised as a solicitor in London, holding legal and commercial positions in media businesses such as ITV.

Returning to his native Wales, he set up his own consultancy, working with clients from the broadcast and digital worlds.

He was elected as the Welsh Labour assembly member for Neath in 2017.

Later that year, he was appointed Counsel General (government’s chief legal adviser) and by the end of the 2018 he was Minister for Brexit.

He became Minister for Education and Welsh Language in May 2021.

The schooling system in Wales has come under scrutiny this week after average PISA scores for mathematics, reading and science all showed significant decline since 2018.

As education minister, Mr Miles has also led moves to take a week off the summer holidays in an effort to better balance the school calendar.

The Welsh Government website lists his interests as economic development, education and skills, film, reading, cooking, hiking, cycling, and local rugby.