Burnham, Simon and Rotheram selected as Labour mayoral candidates

They will be favourites to win the Manchester, Liverpool and West Midlands contests


Labour has selected its candidates for the mayoral elections to be held in Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands next year.

The candidate for Liverpool, Steve Rotheram, was announced this morning, following announcements of the West Midlands and Manchester candidates yesterday.

In Manchester, Andy Burnham was selected with with 51 per cent, easily outstripping Tony Lloyd (29 per cent) and Ivan Lewis (19.8 per cent). The Shadow Home Secretary is the clear favourite, and will resign his seat in the House of Commons if he wins the mayoralty.

In Liverpool, Rotheram — a Corbyn ally and the leader’s personal private secretary — won 40.9 per cent of the vote in the first round, against Joe Anderson’s 33.1 per cent and Luciana Berger’s 40.9 per cent. Following Berger’s elimination, the Liverpool MP won the run-off with 59.8 per cent.

In the West Midlands city region, MEP Siôn Simon will be the party candidate, having secured over 70 per cent of the vote.

While many will be tempted to analyse the significance of the results in pro- and anti-Corbyn terms, LabourList’s Peter Edwards argues that these devolved contests are largely detached from the party’s central battle. He writes:

“If Simon and Burnham are elected as mayors – it is tempting to say ‘when’ – then it will not be a verdict on Corbyn, Smith or even on the prospect of Labour forming a government nationally. Instead it will be a based on local links, name recognition, practical solutions to economic and social problems and the pitiful performance of the Conservatives in Britain’s major industrial cities.”

While it may not say much about the struggle for the party leadership, voices within Labour have already suggested that the mayoral nominations are a further demonstration of the party’s unwillingness to select women for high-profile roles.

Elections for metro mayors will take place next May.

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