FIRST EVER GREATER MANCHESTER MAYOR THE LATEST SIGN OF POWER SHIFT FROM THE SOUTH
(Photo by AFP/Getty Images)
"Greater Manchester mayor results: Labour's Andy Burnham elected"
Published by BBC News on 8 May 2017
Labour's Andy Burnham has been elected as the first "metro mayor" of Greater Manchester, winning 63% of the vote.
Mr Burnham, 47, who served in Tony Blair's and Gordon Brown's governments, was chosen by voters in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan.
He received 359,352 votes. Conservative Sean Anstee was second with 128,752.
Mr Burnham will lead the combined authority.
'Power and purpose'
A total of 28.93% of the region's electorate turned out to vote in what has been described as a "historic" election after the then chancellor George Osborne announced in 2014 certain powers would be devolved from central government.
Mr Burnham will control transport, housing and police budgets.
The 47-year-old, who has been MP for Leigh in Wigan since 2001, will not stand in next month's general election.
Mr Burnham said he had been given a "big job to do and a big mandate with which to do it".
The Liverpool-born politician joked how he had won a bigger percentage of the vote than the newly-elected mayor for Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, and declared it was "Manchester, one, Liverpool, nil."
Greater Manchester would "take control" and create a "new politics", he said, adding, "I won't let you down".
Andy Burnham was beaten by Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015 contest for the Labour leadership (Photo by Getty Images)
"We will give power and purpose to the people and places which Westminster has left behind," he said.
Mr Burnham said rising homelessness had been a defining issue in the mayoral campaign.
He said: "In this great city we will never accept as an inevitable fact of modern life that for some to succeed others have to sleep rough on our cold streets."
A mayor's homelessness fund will be set up and he will donate 15% of his salary to it, he said, reiterating his manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping by 2020.
Born in Liverpool, the Everton fan joined Labour at the age of 14, saying he was inspired by the BBC drama Boys from the Blackstuff about life on the dole.
He was initially seen as a Blairite but was promoted to cabinet duties by Gordon Brown, under whom he served as chief secretary to the treasury, culture secretary and health secretary.
Mr Burnham came second in the Labour leadership contest in 2015, which was won by Jeremy Corbyn.
Along with Steve Rotheram he was involved in the campaign for justice concerning the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
Andy Burnham once took part in a photo-call with Ed Balls to promote playground activities (Photo by PA)
Who is Andy Burnham?
- The middle son of a BT engineer father and GP receptionist mother, he was born in Liverpool but grew up in the Cheshire village of Culcheth
- Attended a Roman Catholic comprehensive and studied English at Cambridge University where he met his Dutch wife, Marie-France van Heel
- They have a son and two daughters
- Worked for trade magazines including Tank World and Passenger World Management, before getting his political break in 1994 as a researcher for Labour minister Tessa Jowell
- Worked for the Transport and General Workers' Union and the trade body NHS Confederation
- His response in 2009 as health secretary to failings at Mid Staffs hospital - where years of neglect led to the "suffering of hundreds of people" - was criticised by the Conservatives who said he should have launched a public inquiry rather than a private independent inquiry