Transport among key pledges as Labour candidates vying to stand for West Yorkshire Mayor set out priorities

Labour candidates in the upcoming electoral race to become West Yorkshire’s first metro mayor have set out pledges as pressure mounts in defining who could potentially become leader.

Monday, 16th November 2020, 6:00 am
Tracy Brabin MP

On the shortlist is Bradford council leader Susan Hinchcliffe, lawyer Hugh Goulbourne and Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin.

Whoever is chosen as the party’s candidate will be favourite to win the mayoral election next May, despite the Conservatives’ success in West Yorkshire in the last General Election.

West Yorkshire “cannot wait for Westminster” is the message amid calls for a campaign like no other in uniting the wings of the Labour movement.

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Transport has been highlighted among the key pledges from the three candidates vying to stand for Labour in election race to become West Yorkshire's first mayor.

Transport features heavily in all candidates’ priorities in ensuring a 21st century system, fixing ‘broken’ buses and building better, more affordable connections.

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Ms Brabin, a former Coronation Street actress who served in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet, was brought up on a council estate in Batley and moved into politics following the murder of her close friend MP Jo Cox.

“I’m not a traditional politician,” said Ms Brabin, as she set out priorities for a greener economy and a focus on a “creative new-deal”. “West Yorkshire is unlike anywhere else, and we need a different sort of leadership.”

Hugh Goulbourne

Lawyer Hugh Goulbourne

Father-of-two Mr Goulbourne has said he was shaped by his background growing up as a “mixed-race kid” amid divided communities in Coventry in the 1980s, and advised the last Labour government on fuel poverty and environmental issues. He has pledged to “get things moving” by drawing on vast experience.

Among his ambitions are intentions to electrify West Yorkshire’s economy as a global destination for health innovation, and working with unions and colleges to create ‘green’ jobs.

“If my daughters and their generation are going to grow up in a diverse and united community, with a healthy planet and pathways into good jobs then West Yorkshire cannot wait for Westminster,” he said.

Leader of Bradford Council Susan Hinchcliffe

Bradford council leader Susan Hinchcliffe

Coun Hinchcliffe, born and brought up in Bradford, also chairs the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and has been heavily involved in the devolution talks which led to the creation of the mayoral role.

Warning this is a contest that Labour cannot take for granted, she has set out pledges around prosperity, fairness, equality and a greener economy, highlighting decent housing.

“This deal is a chance to make a positive difference to people’s lives in every corner of West Yorkshire,” she said, pledging to “unite the wings of our movement” to win.

The three candidates were agreed by a joint selection panel following interviews, with a campaign and hustings period to open on Monday and close at midday on December 11.

The mayoral election will take place in May next year and whoever is elected will gain control over a host of budgets and powers previously held by central government.