Conservatives decide Andy is up their Street for Mayor
Following a year of political shocks, news that Andy Street has tonight been officially selected as the Conservative candidate for the West Midlands metro mayor comes as a surprise to no one.
Currently MD of retailer John Lewis, which opened a Birmingham store last year, Mr Street is expected to now leave the company he joined as a graduate to focus on becoming mayor.
Andy Street resigned as chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), which he has lead since its inception, a few weeks ago.
It is expected that Mr Street will set out his plans to “make the West Midlands an even more prosperous and successful part of the country” at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this weekend. He will join Prime Minister May on stage on Sunday afternoon.
The Conservatives said that Mr Street was selected at a meeting of party members from the “West Midlands devolved authority” (we assume meaning the WMCA area) in Knowle this evening. It is not known whether other candidates were involved or if he was subjected to a rigorous selection interview.
Andy Street said:
I am honoured to have been selected as Conservative candidate for the position of West Midlands Mayor.
With the backing of local members, the journey starts here. Next May voters across the seven cities and boroughs which make up the Combined Authority will face a critical election.
It will determine how we create wealth here, and what type of society the West Midlands will become. I promise to work tirelessly to convince voters that I am the man to lead us through these decisions.
The opportunity we have now is unprecedented. Our economy is being renewed, but we have much more to do to ensure everybody feels the benefit. Our mission is therefore to build the economic powerhouse of Britain in an inclusive way.
That will need leadership from somebody who has a proven record, can bring people together, and can represent us with passion. This election needs to go beyond traditional political loyalties, and I look forward to seeking voters’ support for the job ahead.
Andy Street will face Labour’s Siôn Simon and Beverley Nielsen from the Lib Dems. It is not known if UKIP, the Greens or others will be fielding a candidate on 4 May 2017.
Widely admired in Greater Birmingham business circles, Mr Street will face a big challenge to overcome a Labour candidate in what is traditional territory for the party across most of the urban metropolitan area.
The principal candidates are in place and the campaign can now begin.
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