Back a woman, Welsh Labour leadership candidate Gething tells AMs
A candidate in the Welsh Labour leadership race has asked colleagues to refrain from giving him any further support, and back a woman instead.
Vaughan Gething said it cannot be right if the election is only contested by two men - himself and Mark Drakeford.
While Eluned Morgan has announced her intention to stand, she is yet to get the support she needs from other AMs.
"There is still the time - and still the numbers - to give Welsh Labour the campaign it needs," he said.
AMs need to be nominated by five of their colleagues to stand in the Welsh Labour leadership race.
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Mark Drakeford has 12 AMs backing him, while Vaughan Gething has five.
Alun Davies and Huw Irranca-Davies have also announced their intention to stand - neither have gained any nominations.
"I am humbled by the support I have received thus far, and am proud to have secured the number of nominations necessary to stand," Mr Gething said.
"But today, perhaps a little unusually, I am publicly asking any colleagues considering giving me their nomination to not do so."
He said it "cannot be right that this election will be contested by two men, especially when Welsh Labour in the Assembly has within it a group of extraordinarily talented women AMs".
"There have been exciting, credible and valuable contributions from all those potential candidates - each and every one has a role to play in the debate that lies ahead," he said. "But I sincerely believe that the campaign will be all the poorer if the candidates represent only half of those living in the country we seek to lead.
"There is still the time - and still the numbers - to give Welsh Labour the campaign it needs, and the debate Wales deserves. We will be rightly judged as having failed if we pass this opportunity up."
Mr Gething, who is Welsh Government health secretary, made no reference to Ms Morgan's campaign.
Ms Morgan praised Mr Gething's stance on Friday, calling it a "really principled position".