VALE of Glamorgan Assembly Member Jane Hutt has backed Mark Drakeford to replace Carwyn Jones as the leader of the Welsh Labour party.

Carwyn Jones surprised the Welsh Labour conference last weekend when he announced that he would be standing down in the autumn.

Since then finance secretary Mark Drakeford has announced his intentions to stand to replace Mr Jones.

It is understood that Penarth AM and health secretary Vaughan Gething, economy and transport secretary Ken Skates and Welsh language and lifelong learning minister Eluned Morgan are all considering standing for the position.

Vale AM Jane Hutt set out a number of criteria that she believes the next leader of the party must fulfil, and is confident the Mr Drakeford, who has been AM for Cardiff West since 2011 and has held a series of senior roles in the Welsh Government cabinet, meets these.

She said: “I believe the next leader of Welsh Labour will need a track record in politics and in Government but most of all the next leader must have integrity and be able to reach out to all views and opinions in the party which reflect those of the people of Wales.

“My first choice for Welsh Labour leader and First Minister is former county councillor, probation officer, professor of social policy, health and finance minister - Mark Drakeford.”

Mr Drakeford announced his intention to stand on Tuesday, having previously worked as a special adviser to former First Minister Rhodri Morgan, and having held the position of Health Minister from his election to the Senedd in 2013 until the latest Senedd.

The issue of which electoral system will be used for the leadership election is also up for debate, following Carolyn Harris’ election as Welsh Labour deputy leader, despite winning less votes than Julie Morgan.

Ms Hutt expressed her support for a one-member-one-vote system being introduced for the election, as opposed to the college voting system through which one third of the votes is allocated to AMs another third to trade unions and other affiliated bodies, and the final third to party members.

The Vale of Glamorgan AM also paid tribute to the work of First Minister Carwyn Jones, who announced on Saturday that he would be standing down in the Autumn.

She said: “Carwyn Jones has been an outstanding leader of Welsh Labour and First Minister for more than eight years.

“The people of Bridgend ha