Andy Burnham has confirmed that he will be seeking the Labour nomination for Greater Manchester Mayor.
The shadow Home Secretary becomes the most high-profile Labour politician to put themselves forward for one of the new positions.
Burnham, MP for Leigh, initially said on the evening of local elections on May 5 he was considering standing, and has now made his mind up. He will formally launch his campaign with a speech in Salford tomorrow.
He will be going up against interim Manchester Mayor Tony Lloyd and Bury South MP Ivan Lewis in the race to become the Labour candidate.
“The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a massive moment for politics,” he told the Manchester Evening News today.
Speaking to The Guardian today, the former Health Secretary added: “For me this is a cabinet-level job which needs cabinet-level experience. And it needs somebody who is going to devote themselves to it and grab it with both hands.”
He added: “The biggest mistake would be to underplay [English devolution] and to carry on and say: ‘Westminster’s where it’s at, that’s where everything happens and you’re not really a serious politician unless you’re in Westminster.’
This comes after Shadow minister for mental health Luciana Berger expressed an interest in becoming Liverpool Mayor earlier this week.
LabourList will have more on Burnham’s announcement tomorrow.