Last week, Britain’s Labour party announced the results of the internal party elections to determine its candidates for three of the new “metro mayor” posts being created next May. Former health secretary Andy Burnham will contest Greater Manchester; Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram is the candidate for the greater Liverpool region; and Siôn Simon is to run in the West Midlands (Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry and the Black Country).
The Labour party nationally is – and let’s be nice about this – completely knackered. But it remains strong in Britain’s cities, and won back the mayoralties in both London and Bristol earlier this year. It’s highly probable that Burnham, Rotherham and Simon will all be elected as metro mayors next May.
So this seems like a great moment to discuss who these new titans of the British political scene are. Stephanie and I are joined by our colleague Julia Rampen, who edits the New Statesman‘s politics blog, the Staggers, to talk about what new mayors can do for the Midlands and the North; how Manchester will cope with a Liverpool-supporter as mayor; and, most vexingly, why every one of them is a bloke.
A couple of relevant links…
- Here’s Matthew Smith’s infographic charting the history of England’s elected mayors. Note the fashion for independents – so maybe Manchester can be saved from Burnham yet.
- For reason that will become clear we end this podcast talking about pop-up toilets. Here’s Beulah Maud Devaney’s piece on Amsterdam’s retractable urinal for women.