Greater Manchester police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd has ended weeks of speculation and confirmed he wants to take the post of mayor in the city-region.
Lloyd, who is already serving as interim mayor of Greater Manchester, is the first party figure to confirm he will seek selection as Labour’s candidate.
His announcement could set up an exciting battle with Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester city council, who may also run for the nomination.
The role of elected mayor was confirmed by George Osborne in 2014 after the Chancellor signed a deal with regional council leaders to give them control over billions of pounds of funding for police, transport, social care and housing.
Yesterday Lloyd said the Tories had “let down” Manchester.
“I want to make sure the voice of Greater Manchester is heard loud and clear by government. For too long, it has been overlooked and at times, ignored. We need a strong voice to match those of London and Scotland”, he told the Manchester Evening News.
“The Tory government has let Manchester down, but there is a message of hope – working together we can make Greater Manchester better.
“I want to deliver a Greater Manchester where all people have a decent, affordable home, access to a good job that pays them a living wage, lifelong opportunities to learn and get new skills, with world class transport and health systems delivered to Britain’s safest and greenest communities.”
The election takes place in May next year. Other possible candidates for the Labour nomination are Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South, and Johnny Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge.