Mayoral Elections - Liverpool City Region

Newington's Chris Peacock previews the Liverpool City Region mayoral election

It would be huge shock, the scale of which would put Brexit and even the election of Donald Trump into obscurity, if anyone other than Steve Rotheram were to be the first elected Mayor of the Liverpool City Region (LCR). Any defeat for Steve would be disastrous news for the Labour party both locally and nationally, and would certainly set up for potentially the worst general election result in the Labour Party’s history a little over a month later.

The Labour MP for the Liverpool Walton constituency has been the clear front runner for the new role since he threw his hat into the ring. He is a popular politician in Liverpool with his personal story as a former brick-layer turned Lord Mayor and his campaigning for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster and their families.

During the election, all of the candidates have had to acknowledge the turbulent recent history of the combined authority by trying to ensure that all of the boroughs which make it up are not overshadowed by the dominance of the city of Liverpool. Refusal to accept the names of Greater Liverpool or Greater Merseyside led to numerous arguments amongst the leaders of the 6 authorities and at one point led to the name Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral Combined Authority being used – something which the leaders of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority looked on with amusement.

Steve Rotheram stated early on that he would want to work with the future Mayor of Greater Manchester to build a “North West Powerhouse” focusing on connectivity, stating a desire to create a new transport link between the two cities to drive economic growth and investment.

Steve doesn’t want to see the LCR and Greater Manchester rivalling each other, as they have done since the dawn of the industrial revolution. He hopes, with the potential election of Andy Burnham in Greater Manchester, that the two city regions will work closer together, benefiting from each other rather than competing to fulfil the potential devolution has to offer.

The full list of candidates is: Roger Bannister – Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, Paul Breen – Get the Coppers off the Jury, Tony Caldeira – Conservative, Carl Cashman – Liberal Democrats, Tom Crone – The Green Party, Tabitha Morton – Women’s Equality Party, Steve Rotheram – Labour, Paula Walters – UKIP.