Liam Byrne to stand for Birmingham Mayor (but isn’t leaving the shad cab yet)

March 29, 2012 5:49 pm

As we suggested might happen a few weeks ago, Liam Byrne will tomorrow throw his hat into the ring to be Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Birmingham. However he’s not resigning from the shadow cabinet (yet) – he’ll only leave his role as shadow DWP minister if there’s a “Yes” vote in the Birmingham Mayoral referendum. A Labour source told us:

“Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne will tomorrow formally announce his intention to become Labour Mayor of Birmingham.

“He has talked this over with Ed Miliband and agreed that if there was a yes vote in May, he would step down from the Shadow Cabinet to fight to become the first Labour mayor of Birmingham.”

News that Byrne is considering a run isn’t surprising. One Birmingham activist told us earlier this week that Byrne was “like Hamlet” agonising over the decision. We’re expecting a big announcement in the Birmingham Mail tomorrow. Whether or not he’s backed by any significant figures in Birmingham Labour Party (such as local MPs or council leader and candidate Albert Bore) could be key to the success of his candidacy.

20120329-174620.jpg

  • Amber Star

    Just go, Liam. You wore out your welcome when you left that stupid letter to David Laws.

    • Robert_Crosby

      I agree totally.  I don’t support the idea of elected mayors outside London in general – but I’m all for there being a vacancy in Birmingham if it means we can get Byrne out of the Shadow Cabinet.

      The sad thing is that Blairites think that LB is the kind of Labour politician that voters warm to.  How they come to that conclusion is beyond me.  He never looks sincere, we had the idiotic episode of the note – which the Tories and LDs won’t be able to use in the election campaign if he’s not in a Shadow post any longer) and I seem to remember that he was also caught using a mobile at the wheel.  The man is a disaster zone.

      • Kokopops

        I totally agree with the Bliarite comment –  Cameroons should also be included (‘Heir to Blair’ and all that). 

        However, I think Mayors for big cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle are a good idea, as opposed to smaller cities like Doncaster or Hartlepool and I think it will allow those cities to grow in prominence, as long as they get a wide area of responsibilities.

        The sad thing is that although I hope (and think) Birmingham will vote ‘yes’, I don’t think Liam Byrne will be the LAbour candidate (as I think Sion Simon will sneak it, especially with Tom Watson supporting him), which would mean that Byrne will still be in the PLP.  Personally, the best thing would be Byrne to get the Labour candidacy and step down resulting in a by-election and then, for Birmingham’s sake, lose the election to a more independent-minded leftie like Lynne Jones, Salma Yacoob or Clare Short.

  • Mike Homfray

    So he’s going and this is the smokescreen which looks better than being sacked. Just about anyone else could do the job better. Preferably someone who knows about the subject such as Kate Green or Karen Buck

    • Kokopops

      I would love Kate Green or Karen Buck in the Shadow Cabinet and shadow DWP would be perfect for them.

  • GuyM

    Of course given you on the left screamed that Boris had to resign as an MP to “concentrate” being london mayor, you will of course be insisting any Labour MP elected as a mayor also resigns as an MP?

    • Kokopops

      Yes, the MP should resign, who is saying the opposite?

Latest

  • Featured We must ensure that disabled people get to cast their votes

    We must ensure that disabled people get to cast their votes

    By Stephen Twigg MP and Kate Green MP There are around 11 million disabled voters in the UK. In a few weeks, they will have the opportunity to go to the ballot box and have their say on the future direction of our country. Between now and May 7th, it is imperative that we do all was can to ensure their voice is heard. Our democracy is becoming increasingly inaccessible. Over the last year, as the Government have rushed the […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured The Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing – and now’s the time to fight.

    The Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing – and now’s the time to fight.

    Every day matters. Every single day between now and 7th May, thousands and thousands of Labour activists will be out on the doorsteps fighting this general election one street at a time. But through the cold and the rain and the dark nights, this fight isn’t just about the Labour Party, it’s about the millions of people we got into politics to represent. It’s about the people whose doors we knock on – the young woman worried about whether her […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Future Jobs of Britain: Ensuring everyone has a stake

    Future Jobs of Britain: Ensuring everyone has a stake

    We believe a Britain where everyone can do well for themselves and achieve their aspirations – where the next generation does better than the last – is the right vision for Britain.  We can only realise this goal if we build an economy which raises living standards for all working people, not just a few at the top. We certainly haven’t seen this under a Tory led Government, but we are clear that this is the destination of the next […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour announce they’ll break “the stranglehold” big private bus operators have over services

    Labour announce they’ll break “the stranglehold” big private bus operators have over services

    Labour have announced that they would stop five companies from dominating the bus service market, by making it easier for not-for-profit operators to run services. At the moment, Stagecoach, Arriva, Go-Ahead, First Group and National Express control 72% of local bus services. It’s said, Labour are looking at groups such as Hackney Community Transport – a social enterprise that provides transport to London and certain areas of Yorkshire. Founded in 1982, the company has no shareholders and looks to invest […]

    Read more →
  • Comment ‘I would have been angry too’

    ‘I would have been angry too’

    Labour needs to learn to let go, says Jim McMahon in exclusive interview with Liz Kendall and Steve Reed for their new pamphlet with Progress ‘If we had gone into marriage guidance counselling at that point,’ says Jim McMahon of the relationship between Oldham council and its residents two years ago, ‘the counsellor might have said: “Do you know what, it might just be time to part ways”.’ Oldham was not, says the man who has led it since May […]

    Read more →