The Co-operative Party in the north west of England is supporting Tony Lloyd in the race for the Manchester mayoral election.
On 3 June the three Labour candidates to be the Mayor of Greater Manchester attended a meeting with local Co-op Party members. After listening to the candidates, members voted to back Tony Lloyd, who has been serving as Greater Manchester’s police and crime commissioner since 2012.
From May 2017, the role of the police and crime commissioner in Greater Manchester will be merged with the new elected mayor for the region. Mr Lloyd has been acting as Manchester’s interim mayor since June 2015.
Also seeking to obtain the Labour Party’s nomination are Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South and Andy Burnham, shadow home secretary and MP for Leigh. Mr Lewis served as a minister in the Blair and Brown governments. A member of the Co-op Party, Mr Burnham was involved in setting up Supporters Direct.
All three have pledged to establish a minister for co-ops and mutualism in Greater Manchester.
In a statement to party members, Mr Lloyd said: “I was born and bred in Greater Manchester, I care passionately about the people I represent. I’ve been a member of the Co-operative Party most of my life.
“The ethos of the co-operative is central to my own political philosophy and is one Labour should share.”
He added that as police and crime commissioner he had supported the development of a co-op by ex-offenders providing employment opportunities in cleaning and gardening services.
As mayor he said he would build decent homes for Greater Manchester, integrate the health and care systems, promote training and apprenticeships and improve local transport services.
In Liverpool, Labour/Co-op MP Luciana Berger, shadow minister for mental health, launched her bid to be the party’s candidate for the Liverpool City Region.
Ms Berger has been a Labour/Co-op MP since 2010. She has been working with the city council to promote credit unions as an alternative to payday lenders.
She said: “I am proud of my record in standing up for energy co-operatives and co-operative development internationally.
“There is great scope for the new mayor to build a more co-operative region. Co-operative solutions offer answers to some of the biggest policy challenges our region faces whether it be social and economic inclusion, housing or transport.
“I will bring my expertise in local co-operative energy projects to ensure that – in spite of central government’s lack of support – the city region develops co-operative and community-owned renewable energy.
“I believe that there needs to be a strong passenger voice and representation within our transport networks and I am keen to explore the extent the not-for-profit sector can add to our bus network.”
Also seeking the Labour candidacy are Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and MP Steve Rotheram. Mr Anderson was elected mayor in 2012 with 57% of the vote, having previously been leader of the Liverpool City Council. A former councillor, Mr Rotheram has been an MP for Liverpool Walton since 2010.
In 2015, chancellor George Osborne encouraged England’s big cities to bid for devolved powers while agreeing to be governed by a directly elected mayor.
The model will enable increased devolution for Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Tees Valley, North-East, West Midlands and Greater Lincolnshire.