Elections 2021, Labour, Local Elections, Local Politics, Local Government

Elections 2021, Labour

Labour’s Tracy Brabin elected first mayor of West Yorkshire

Labour’s Tracy Brabin elected first mayor of West Yorkshire

5/9/2021 9:21:00 PM

Labour ’s Tracy Brabin elected first mayor of West Yorkshire

Former Coronation Street actor’s victory will trigger byelection in marginal seat targeted by Tories

Last modified on Sun 9 May 2021 19.17 BSTLabour’s Tracy Brabin has been elected as the first mayor of West Yorkshire, setting up another byelection in a marginal seat targeted by Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.Brabin was named as the inaugural West Yorkshire mayor with 310,923 votes (59.8%) after second preference ballots were counted. The Conservative candidate, the Leeds city councillor Matthew Robinson, was runner-up with 209,137 votes (40.2%).

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It makes Brabin, a former Coronation Street actor, the first female metro mayor in England, four years after the city-region roles were created. She will have powers over transport, crime and planning in the region of 2.3 million people, which includes the cities of Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield.

The result is a much-needed boost for the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, whose party isengulfed in a blame gameafter a series of losses across England, including the Hartlepool byelection.It may prove a pyrrhic victory, however, as Labour’s win means Brabin must stand down immediately as MP for the constituency of Batley & Spen under electoral commission rules that make the police and crime responsibilities in her new role incompatible with being an MP. This will trigger another byelection this summer, with Labour sources saying 22 July has been mooted as the date for the contest. headtopics.com

The West Yorkshire seat has elected a Labour MP for 24 years but the party’s majority was cut to 3,525 votes at the 2019 general election, when the Tories came runner-up with 36% of the vote.Brabin was elected MP for the seat followingthe murderof the sitting MP, Jo Cox, by a far-right terrorist on 16 June 2016. The Conservatives did not contest the resulting byelection out of respect for Cox but have made the Pennines seat a key target in the last two general elections.

Patrick Heneghan, a former head of campaigns for the Labour party,said the local election resultsacross the Batley & Spen constituency showed the Conservatives beating Labour by just over 100 votes. A Labour mayoral victory would force “a hugely important byelection in another northern marginal,” he said.

The Conservatives hold nine out of 22 constituencies in the region including Wakefield, which had been consistently Labour since 1932.During the campaign, Brabin vowed to make job creation her main priority in response to the economic impact of Covid on the region. “Young people are particularly hard hit, BAME communities are very hard hit. A fair and just recovery from Covid means jobs,” she said.

Her pitch to voters also featured a robust pledge to improve the region’s transport infrastructure, including eye-catching commitments to bring buses under public control and oversee delivery of a new mass transit system to link Leeds, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Halifax and Bradford. headtopics.com

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Brabin asked voters to judge her on her ability to deliver meaningful upgrades to the network, saying: “If at the end of my three-year term we don’t have some rolling stock and some changes to our transport network, I will definitely have failed, and you must not vote for me again, because this is going to be a central plank of my mission.”

Brabin was handed an emphatic endorsement from the Kirklees-born actor Sir Patrick Stewart after he posted a message of support from his Los Angeles home.There was a minor row during the campaign after the Conservatives reported her forfor handing out brownies while campaigning. Following an investigation, police confirmed that no offence had taken place.

Read more: The Guardian »

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Labour MP triggers by-election after becoming first West Yorkshire mayorBREAKING: Labour MP triggers by-election after becoming first West Yorkshire mayor

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