Shadow Digital Economy Minister Liam Byrne to announce bid to become Labour’s candidate for West Midlands Metro Mayor on BBC today
Former Treasury minister and current Shadow minister Liam Byrne is expected to announce his bid to become Labour’s candidate for the position of West Midlands ‘metro mayor’ during an appearance on this lunchtime’s BBC Sunday Politics West Midlands.
It is not the first time he has attempted to win the candidacy. In 2012 Byrne resigned from Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet to make a similar bid to become the party’s candidate as the first directly-elected mayor of Birmingham.
Byrne was Chief Secretary to the Treasury who, when Labour lost the 2010 general election, left a traditional jokey note for his Tory successor apologising that there was no money left. The Tories have exploited the note as serious ever since to shore up the myth of Labour overspending.
Controversially, Labour sources believe that Byrne – a co-founder of the right-wing pressure group Progress – may be supported in his bid by Momentum, or at least by founder Jon Lansman, in order to position a Lansmanite candidate as Byrne’s successor in Birmingham Hodge Hill. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has also been mentioned as offering support.
The likely left prospects for the position are former Dudley council leader Pete Lowe – who stepped down from the Dudley role last November in order to focus on ‘other political priorities’, believed to be his own bid for the metro role – and Birmingham councillor Majid Mahmood, who resigned recently from the council’s cabinet over the council’s treatment of low-paid refuse collectors.
Liam Byrne and Jon Lansman have been contacted for comment.
Edit: Lansman and Momentum both subsequently denied the reports. Their comments can be read here.
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