The recent elections in the Senedd were a huge opportunity to build on the great work already done by Co-operative MSs over recent years, and the fantastic results give us a platform to do just that.

The Co-operative Party was delighted to return to the Senedd with our biggest ever Co-operative group – 16 MSs, representing over half of the Labour Members. That also makes us the joint second largest party in the Parliament.

It’s a great result, and a real testament to the incredible work of Co-operative Party MSs, candidates, members and campaigners right across Wales.

But as always, whilst numbers are important it’s also vital each of our Co-op MSs are able to champion co-operative values and the co-operative solutions our movement offers to the many challenges we face in Wales.

And with the announcement of the Welsh Government’s Cabinet, a core of co-operators at its very heart gives us an opportunity to do so.

With Co-operative MSs Mick Antoniw, Rebecca Evans, Vaughan Gething, Dawn Bowden, Lee Waters, Jeremy Miles and Lynne Neagle all supporting Labour’s First Minister Mark Drakeford in key policy positions right across the economy and wider society, co-operation will be at the very heart of decision making in Wales.

What’s more, we can already see the results.

In their recently published Programme for Government, the Welsh Government outlined their commitments that included many ambitious co-operative ideas.

From supporting co-operative housing, a community food strategy to tackle hunger, worker ownership in various sectors, co-operative solutions to local regeneration and high street support, and so much more, the theme of co-operation runs right through the Welsh Government’s agenda.

Over recent weeks and months we have seen Wales leading the way on addressing so many of challenges posed as we navigate our way through this crisis and edge our way into a post-lockdown world.

We’re delighted it is doing so with co-operation at its very core.