Labour and Co-operative MP Luciana Berger has failed to get members’ backing for the Liverpool City region metro mayor election. Ms Berger, who was the Co-operative Party’s candidate in the race, secured 24.2% of votes in the first round.
Labour Party members voted for MP Steve Rotheram to represent them in the election, which takes place in May. Mr Rotheram secured 40.9% of first round votes, and won the nomination with 59.8% of the vote in the second round. Joe Anderson, who became the first directly elected mayor of Liverpool in 2012, came second overall, with 33.1%.
As metro mayor, Mr Rotheram would have powers over policing, fire, transport and house building. He was elected as an MP for Walton in 2010 with a 58% majority, and re-elected last year with a majority of 72%. In the past he has spoken in favour of widening provision of and access to affordable sources of credit through organisations such as local credit unions.
The metro mayor will be chairing a cabinet of leaders from the local council, who will have veto over certain decisions. The Liverpool city region includes Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens, Halton and Wirral.
Ms Berger’s policy agenda included creating a bus service that puts the needs of the community before those of the large bus companies. During a campaign visit to St Helens bus station, the MP for Wavertree said that she would ‘insist’ that new licenses for bus services are granted to not-for-profit bus operators, including co-operatives and mutuals. She had also pledged to widen disabled access and create part-time season tickets for part-time workers, who tend to be female.
On congratulating Mr Rotheram, Ms Berger added that she was looking forward to campaigning with him next year.
Congratulations @Steve4LCRmayor – I look forward to campaigning alongside you for a Labour victory in the Liverpool City Region next year
— Luciana Berger (@lucianaberger) August 10, 2016
Labour voters from the Liverpool city region voted for their choice of candidates between 11 July and 5 August. The election was based on the alternative vote system.
Liverpool is one of five regions that will be electing a metro mayor in May 2017, along with West Midlands, Greater Manchester, the Tees Valley and the Sheffield city regions. Greater Lincolnshire, the North East and East of England are expected to follow. These city regions have reached an agreement with the national government on a devolution deal supported by former chancellor George Osborne.
Earlier this year the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act became law as part of the government’s devolution agenda. The bill grants more power to combined authorities providing they elect a metro mayor for the area.
Greater Manchester members voted for Andy Burnham to be their candidate. In Birmingham, MEP Siôn Simon, a member of the Co-operative Party, won the Labour nomination.
In this article
- Andy Burnham
- Co-operative MP
- Co-operative Party
- George Osborne
- Gordon Brown
- Greater Manchester
- Joe Anderson
- Labour Party
- Liverpool City Region
- Luciana Berger
- metro mayor
- national government
- Steve Rotheram
- United Kingdom