Andy Burnham MP has been selected as Labour’s candidate for the first Greater Manchester’s mayoral election, in May 2017. It is widely expected that Labour will win the contest, which gives the mayor sweeping powers over buses.
The Shadow Home Secretary frontbencher fended off competition from Labour candidates Bury South MP Ivan Lewis and interim mayor Tony Lloyd in the race, meaning he will go forward to stand at the election in May 2017.
Mr Burnham pledged to give Labour a “strong northern voice” and said he would be a “grassroots mayor for all of Greater Manchester.”
In his nomination acceptance speech he said: “I want to send a very direct message to the Prime Minister: You and your party have made promises to people here in the north of England and I will not let you walk away from them.”
It is expected Mr Burnham will resign from the Shadow Cabinet and step down as MP for Leigh if he wins the mayoral election.
The Greater Manchester Mayor will have control of transport, social care, housing and police budgets as laid out by the then Chancellor George Osborne in 2014. Councils in the region currently control £5bn of public money each year.
Labour is to unveil its candidate in the Liverpool City region today (Wednesday) with Labour MPs Steve Rotherham and Luciana Berger and Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson in contention.
The party is also poised to confirm its nominee for the contest in Birmingham.