Mick Antoniw
Мік Антонів
Mick Antoniw AM (27555054974).jpg
Antoniw in 2016
Counsel General for Wales
Assumed office
13 May 2021
First MinisterMark Drakeford
Preceded byJeremy Miles
In office
27 June 2016 – 14 November 2017
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
Preceded byTheodore Huckle
Succeeded byJeremy Miles
Member of the Senedd
for Pontypridd
Assumed office
6 May 2011
Preceded byJane Davidson
Majority5,328 (19.4%)
Personal details
Born (1954-09-01) 1 September 1954 (age 67)
Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
(now Ukraine)
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Alma materUniversity of Wales
OccupationLawyer
WebsiteWelsh Labour

Mick Antoniw (Ukrainian: Мік Антонів; born 1 September 1954) is a Welsh Labour and Co-operative politician serving as Counsel General for Wales since 2021, and previously from 2016 to 2017. He has been the Member of the Senedd (MS) for Pontypridd since 2011.

Early life

Antoniw comes from a Ukrainian family, with a Danish mother[1] and came to the UK as a result of his father seeking refugee status in the UK following World War II.[2]

Antoniw came to Wales to study law at the Cardiff Law School, University of Wales in 1973.[3] He was President of the National Union of Students Wales from 1977 to 1979.[3]

Professional career

He was a practising solicitor before his election to the Senedd, specialising in personal injury. Antoniw was a partner in Thompsons Solicitors, the specialist trade union solicitors, with whom he began his training in 1980.[4] He is a trustee of the Welsh Refugee Council.[3][4]

Personal life

Antoniw fostered dozens of other people's children in the 15 years prior to his election, saying "When you are fostering, it brings immense quality. It is very challenging – and can be dependent on the nature of the fostering, whether the child is disabled or older children where there are difficulties. But my experience in the mixture of fostering that we did, was that it does add value to your life. Seeing children developing and beginning to blossom to some extent during the fostering process is very rewarding."[5]

Political career

Antoniw was a leading member of the Wales Anti-apartheid Movement (WAAM) during the 1980s.[6] In 1981 he was elected as a Labour councilor to the South Glamorgan County Council for the Court ward, gaining the seat from the Conservatives. He was re-elected in 1985 but did not seek re-election in 1989.

At the 2011 Welsh Assembly election, Antoniw increased the Labour vote with a swing of 18.8%. His 11,864 votes amounted to over 50% of the poll; his majority over the second-placed Welsh Liberal Democrats candidate, Mike Powell, was 7,694.[7] At the 2016 Welsh Assembly election Antoniw's vote fell to 9,986 and his majority was reduced.[8]

He was appointed as Counsel General for Wales in June 2016. However, he departed from this role in November 2017 as part of a Government reshuffle, being replaced by Jeremy Miles.[9]

Antoniw is a fluent Ukrainian speaker and has used his knowledge of the language when meeting with Ukrainian officials including deputy prime minister Volodymyr Groysman at international summits, such as the European Union Committee of the Regions. He has stated that he is a supporter of Ukrainian accession to the European Union, a supporter of the country joining NATO, and does not support Ukrainian federalism.[2] Antoniw visited Ukraine just prior to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine alongside Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price in order to "show solidarity with workers and minorities" as they met workers, LGBTQ+ people, ethnic minorities and human rights defenders[10]

A self-described socialist, Antoniw endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's 2015 campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party, Mark Drakeford's 2018 Welsh Labour leadership bid, and Keir Starmer's candidacy in the 2020 Labour leadership election. In January 2019 Drakeford appointed Antoniw as Welsh representative on the party's National Executive Committee:[11] however, Antoniw and Drakeford subsequently successfully campaigned for the position to be democratically elected by the Welsh Labour membership. Antoniw ran in the first election for the post in 2020,[12] receiving endorsements from several trade unions including Unison, as well as Momentum,[13] the Labour Representation Committee[11] and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy:[14] however, he was defeated by former First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, who won 5,195 votes to Antoniw's 4,933.[15]

Honours and Awards

References

  1. ^ "AM's Ukrainian festivities for new year". 16 January 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  2. ^ a b Williamson, David (3 April 2014). "Ukrainian-speaking Welsh AM Mick Antoniw stands up for his father's country in Brussels". WalesOnline.
  3. ^ a b c "Mick Antoniw – about me". Mick Antoniw. 2011. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Mick Antoniw – Pontypridd". Welsh Labour website. Welsh Labour. 2011. Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  5. ^ Henry, Graham (10 June 2012). "Action needed to speed up the adoption process in Wales". WalesOnline. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement Papers". National Library of Wales. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  7. ^ Shipton, Martin (7 February 2013). "Labour AM Mick Antoniw accused of blocking employee from attending council meetings". WalesOnline.
  8. ^ Owens, David (6 May 2016). "Assembly Election 2016: Labour holds Pontypridd but with a reduced majority". WalesOnline.
  9. ^ Williamson, David (3 November 2017). "The full details of Carwyn Jones' Welsh Government reshuffle". Walesonline. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Ukraine: Adam Price and Mick Antoniw arrive against advice". BBC News. 19 February 2022.
  11. ^ a b Labour Representation Committee (2004) (18 October 2020). "Maximise the vote for the #GV6". Labour Briefing. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  12. ^ Chappell, Elliot (30 September 2020). "Exclusive: Interview with Labour NEC Welsh rep candidate Mick Antoniw". LabourList. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  13. ^ "NCG Meeting: 3/10/2020: 11:00am-3pm" (PDF). Momentum. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Support Grassroots candidates for the 2020 NEC Elections". Campaign for Labour Party Democracy. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  15. ^ Shipton, Martin (14 November 2020). "Carwyn defeats Antoniw to take NEC Welsh seat". Western Mail (Wales). Retrieved 9 May 2021 – via PressReader.
  16. ^ "Jack Laurenson: Ukraine's Friend and Foe of the Week | KyivPost – Ukraine's Global Voice". KyivPost. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
Senedd Preceded byJane Davidson Member of the Senedd for Pontypridd 2011–present Incumbent Legal offices Preceded byTheodore Huckle Counsel General for Wales 2016–2017 Succeeded byJeremy Miles Preceded byJeremy Miles Counsel General for Wales 2021–present Succeeded byIncumbent