United Kingdom

Labour win West England Metro Mayor from Tories in rare election gain

Dan Norris (R) has been elected as Metro Mayor for West England

Labour have gained the regional Metro mayor position for the West of England from the Conservatives, in a result that bucks the national trend.

The winning candidate – former Government minister and local MP Dan Norris – secured victory in a second preference vote run-off against his Tory rival Samuel Williams.

The position had been held by Conservative Tim Bowles, but he did not stand for re-election.

Mr Williams had been forecast to win the race ahead of voters going to the polls, but early results showed Mr Norris had taken the lead.

He’ll now be in charge of billions of pounds of public money, overseeing Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset.

Mr Norris said it was a ‘huge honour’ to be elected and vowed to ‘show the difference an active Metro Mayor makes’.

He added: ‘I’m determined to hit the ground running with a Jobs and Skills summit in my first 100 days and my Green Recovery Plan.

‘I also know that the pandemic has been tough and as we build back, invest in jobs and our high streets, we must learn key lessons. Together we can create a society where we keep looking out for each other and value what’s truly important.’

Mr Norris’s victory comes after the party’s candidates in Manchester and Liverpool also held onto their Metro Mayor seats.

Andy Burnham secured a landslide result in the race to stay on as the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham secured a landslide victory

Mr Burnham saw his share of the vote increase from 2017, going up from 63% to 69%.

He picked up 473,024 votes – well clear of the Conservatives’ Laura Evans on 113,753.

Speaking after the result was declared he said: ‘This vote sends a clear message to all Westminster parties.

‘People are buying into English devolution. They are telling you to deliver more of it, not less.’

Labour’s Steve Rotherham also held onto the same position in the Liverpool City Region.

Mr Rotherham enjoyed an overwhelming victory by securing 58.3% of the votes (198,726 votes), shoring up Labour’s support on Merseyside where the party have also retained the Liverpool city mayoralty with victory for Joanne Anderson.

The three mayoral wins give Labour a bright spot in what has been a largely disappointing set of election results.

Aside from success in the Welsh parliament elections, there have been few highlights for Sir Keir Starmer just over a year into his leadership of Labour.

Mr Burnham’s performance as Metro Mayor has sparked speculation he could attempt a third run at the Labour leadership in the future, having failed to secure the top job in 2010 and 2015.

He did not dismiss the prospect today, telling Sky News: ‘In the distant future, if the party were ever to feel it needed me, well I’m here and they should get in touch.’

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