Andy Burnham wins Greater Manchester mayoralty

Andy Burnham stepped down from the shadow cabinet last year to focus on his bid for the mayoralty

Andy Burnham seen with his daughter outside his local polling station yesterday

Friday, May 5, 2017

Former Labour cabinet minister Andy Burnham has been elected the new metro mayor of Greater Manchester.

Burnham, who served as first sports minister and then health minister under Gordon Brown, won the contest in the first round. He had been widely tipped to win beforehand.

The Cambridge graduate, originally from Liverpool, has served as MP for Leigh, near Manchester, since 2001 but has pledged to step down if elected mayor.

He unsuccessfully campaigned for the Labour leadership in 2015, losing out to Jeremy Corbyn, and resigned from the shadow cabinet in October last year to focus on his bid for the mayoralty.

Like Steve Rotheram, who won the Liverpool mayoralty earlier today, Burnham has long campaigned on behalf of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, and retains close links with the city of his birth.

The news is further good news for Labour after a chastening day in the local elections. As of 3pm this afternoon they had surrendered control of five councils and lost a total of 299 seats at local level.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, had gained 465 seats, leaving them with almost twice as many as Labour.