Steve Rotheram, a former Liverpool mayor and an MP (pictured left), will be Labour’s candidate in the 2017 mayoral elections.
It is the first time voters will choose a metro mayor, who will have sweeping powers to change policy across the Liverpool region. Rotheram is the parliamentary private secretary of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Rotheram beat off fellow MP, Luciana Berger, and the current Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.
Jon Lansman, the brains behind Corbyn’s grassroots operation Momentum, tweeted: “Really delighted at the news that Steve Rotheram is to be Labour’s mayoral candidate in Liverpool. A victory for democracy!”
Rotheram’s selection comes one day after Andy Burnham, the shadow home secretary, clinched Labour’s nomination for Manchester.
Labour’s support in urban areas means this could be the best chance for the party to gain power in the coming year, following Sadiq Khan’s victory in the London mayoral elections. It also bolsters the Corbyn camp’s power, as both Burnham and Rotheram have remained at least publicly loyal to the Labour leader. The two men campaigned together to uncover the truth about the Hillsborough tragedy, with Rotheram stating: “I was there and saw the horror unfold before my very eyes.”
The spotlight will now be on Liverpool Walton, as Rotheram will be expected to stand down as an MP, which in turn will trigger a by-election. Speculation is already growing about who will contest Burnham’s seat in Leigh.