FIRST Minister Mark Drakeford has ordered an "urgent audit" of statues, street and building names to address Wales' connections with the slave trade.

The audit will be headed by the country's first black female local councillor, Gaynor Legall, described as a "powerful advocate" for ethnic minority women.

It comes following the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter demonstration, prompting authorities across the country to face calls to remove other tributes to controversial figures.

Locally, campaigners have called for the removal of a statue of former Prime Minister William Gladstone in Hawarden and HM Stanley in Denbigh and St Asaph.

On Monday the Welsh Government said a task group for the work will be selected for their expert knowledge of the slave trade, British Empire and history of black communities across Wales.

Announcing the audit, Mr Drakeford said: "The Black Lives Matter movement has brought to the fore a number of important issues we need to address as a country.

"One is the need for Wales to reflect on the visible reminders of the country's past.

"This is especially true when we look at the horrors of the slave trade.

"Some of our historic buildings are reminders of this painful period of our history.

"Some may appear to make heroes of historical figures whose actions we now condemn.

"Individuals connected to the slave trade may be remembered in street names or the names of public buildings.

"They are commemorations of a past that we have not fully challenged and that we should challenge now."

Mr Drakeford said the action was "not about rewriting the past" but "reflecting it with the justice it deserves".

He added: "If done in the right way, we can create a richer and more informed relationship with our history.

"We can find new stories and figures to celebrate.

"We can reflect a Wales that rightfully celebrates our diverse communities.

"This is what our past deserves and our present so rightfully demands."

Mr Drakeford said the work was aligned to a review of how Welsh history is taught in schools, which will take full account of Welsh, and wider, BAME history, identity and culture.

In the Welsh capital the leader of Cardiff Council has said he will support calls to have the statue of a "sadistic 19th century slave owner" removed from the city's civic building.

Huw Thomas said the marble statue Sir Thomas Picton, the most senior officer killed at the Battle of Waterloo, was an "affront" to black people in the Welsh capital.