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Steve Rotheram picked as Labour's candidate for Liverpool mayor

Liverpool Walton MP and former bricklayer Steve Rotheram has been chosen as the Labour party’s candidate for next year’s Liverpool mayoral elections.

Mr Rotheram, who left school at 16 to become a bricklayer and set up his own business at the age of 22, beat incumbent mayor Joe Anderson and fellow Liverpool MP Luciana Berger to the nomination.

He has been MP for Liverpool Walton since 2010, and is currently serving as parliamentary private secretary to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He is the odds-on favourite to win next year’s Liverpool City Region mayoral election, due to take place on 4 May 2017.

The city region will cover five Merseyside councils: Liverpool, St Helens, Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral, as well as Halton in Cheshire.

In his bid for the nomination, Mr Rotheram has pledged to invest in private-public partnerships to fund renewable energy projects on the River Mersey, including both offshore wind and tidal power.

On transport, he has pledged to take the city’s bus system under regulated control, and will lobby for Liverpool to have a connection to the proposed HS3 east-west high speed rail project.

He is the second serving MP to be chosen as a Labour party mayoral candidate, after Andy Burnham was chosen as the party’s candidate for the Manchester mayoral elections.

Meanwhile, Labour has elected MP Siôn Simon as its candidate for the West Midlands.

Mr Simon was the former Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington and was favourite to Labour candidacy. He beat former Labour city councillor Steve Bedser to the position by 71 per cent.

The chosen mayor will oversee the twelve local authorities that make up the West Midlands Combined Authority including Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Mr Simon previously campaigned for a mayoral position in 2011, after standing down from his position in parliament.

He has outlined the need for skills, apprenticeships, more affordable housing and a 24/7 public transport system in his campaign to become West Midlands mayor.

Sion simon labour mp

Sion simon labour mp

Siôn Simon

Mr Simon has stated the need for “much deeper and faster devolution from London” after Brexit, saying the West Midlands needs to be “stronger than ever before” without the benefits of an EU membership.

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson backed Mr Simon, saying: “Siôn Simon will help us plan new and vital transport infrastructure, build new homes and work with industry and business.”

Elections will take place on 4 May 2017.

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