Welsh MIM architect wins leadership bid

Finance Secretary to become new First Minister for Wales; concerns over whether he will move party away from privately financed infrastructure

Wales’s Finance Minister Mark Drakeford has won the Welsh Labour Party’s leadership contest and he will now take over as the country’s First Minister next week.

Drakeford was the man who announced the creation of the Welsh government’s mutual investment model (MIM) in 2017, as a replacement PPP model.

However, there are concerns within the infrastructure community that Drakeford could decide to move away from the MIM model. He is known to be more left-wing than his predecessor, Carwyn Jones, and has previously shown his support for national Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn’s Westminster team has long backed the abolition of PFI in the UK and has said it would look to buy out all existing PFI deals if it won power.

“Drakeford could easily pull the plug on all privately financed work,” said one industry expert. “But there really is no other money anywhere else.”

There are also concerns that Drakeford could scrap plans for the building of the proposed M4 relief road near Newport. Rumours in the market had suggested that current First Minister Carwyn Jones would launch that project before he left office, although that now looks unlikely, with Drakeford set to take up the reins next week.