Labour reveals mayoral candidates

The Labour Party has named Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham and West Midlands MEP Siôn Simon as its mayoral candidates in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands respectively.

Burnham, MP for Leigh, gained 51 per cent of the votes for the Manchester region, comfortably beating Tony Lloyd and Ivan Lewis. Greater Manchester’s current interim mayor and police and crime commissioner took 29 per cent of the vote, with Bury South MP Lewis winning 20 per cent.

Burnham said: “I have a clear message for the Prime Minister – you and your party were elected on a series of promises to the north of England and I will not let you walk away from them. You promised us a powerhouse and now you must give us the tools and investment to build it.”

Siôn Simon beat his contender Steve Bedser, a former city councillor, by a large margin of 71 per cent of votes of the West Midlands mayor position. If elected, he will oversee the new West Midlands Combined Authority in order to deliver the region’s major £1 billion devolution deal.

He said: “Let’s really invest in skills and apprenticeships. This region is a world leader in advanced manufacturing; it’s a great creative hub; we’re uniquely placed in biotech with our many great universities and our super-diverse population. We need not just more jobs, but better jobs, and better paid job. And this new devolution is a means to get them.”