Voting has opened today in Labour’s West Yorkshire mayoral selection race after the party earlier this month unveiled its shortlist of three candidates who hope to run in the election taking place on May 6th.
Following local party nominations and interviews, a panel of Labour national executive committee (NEC) members and regional board officials narrowed the list to Tracy Brabin, Susan Hinchcliffe and Hugh Goulbourne.
Brabin, seen to be the most left-wing candidate in the internal contest, has been backed by Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and Labour MPs including Fabian Hamilton, Alex Sobel, Rachael Maskell and Naz Shah.
She has also won the backing of Unite, GMB, train drivers’ union ASLEF, transport workers’ union TSSA, the Communication Workers Union, the National Union of Mineworkers and the Co-operative Party.
Brabin has said she hopes to modernise the region’s transport and increase economic investment into the area, from supporting green jobs and sustainable reindustrialisation to implementing a “creative new deal”.
Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford council and chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, is endorsed by MPs including Holly Lynch and Imran Hussein, plus affiliated unions UNISON, Usdaw and Community.
With the campaign slogan “courage to dream, experience to deliver”, she has emphasised her experience that she says will allow her to “steer the ship” when delivering on aims such improved housing.
Goulbourne, a Huddersfield lawyer, business ambassador and father-of-two, is supported by Labour peer Baroness Osamor, as well as former Kirklees Council leader Sir John Harman and local councillor Scott Patient.
While running to be Labour’s candidate, he has particularly underscored the need for people in West Yorkshire to be supported as they retrain or reskill if the area is going to remain competitive in a changing economy.
Voting in Labour’s West Yorkshire mayor selection process has opened today and will close at midday on December 11th, ahead of the inaugural election itself on May 6th next year alongside other contests.
The winner will represent Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale, and will have control over regional transport, housing, land, adult skills and, by latest 2024, regional policing and crime policy.