The Chamberlain Files | Homepage
Digby Jones backs ‘pro-business’ Tory Andy Street for West Midlands metro mayor

Digby Jones backs ‘pro-business’ Tory Andy Street for West Midlands metro mayor

🕔18.Sep 2016

Digby Jones has today given his firm backing to Conservative candidate Andy Street in the battle to become West Midlands metro mayor.

Lord Jones of Birmingham, a former director general of the CBI and briefly a business minister in Gordon Brown’s Labour government, said he was supporting Mr Street because “he is firmly on the side of business”.

He added that Mr Street, the managing director of John Lewis and until last week chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, had a wealth of experience  and would enable the West Midlands to engage with Whitehall and the rest of the world.

Lord Jones had toyed with the idea of running for mayor himself, as an independent candidate, but has decided to support Mr Street instead.

He continued an attack on Labour mayoral candidate Siôn Simon, after declaring earlier in the year that electing Mr Simon “would be the worst thing the West Midlands has ever done”.

Today Lord Jones said “the beginning and end of the argument” was that Mr Street could deliver for business and create wealth and jobs while Mr Simon could not. He said:

Siôn Simon is business-hostile. Can you imagine him talking the language of would-be inward investors around the world? He believes money to pay for socialism grows on trees. I for one will not help in any way a mayor wedded to the Corbyn franchise.

Lord Jones added:

Everyone knows I am passionate about the West Midlands. As a proud Brummie I want to see our region punch above its weight, engage with the rest of the world, and make the most of every opportunity.

Andy Street is the man to do this. He has the wealth of experience and is firmly on the side of business.

He said he was adamant that every voter should welcome a business-attuned mayor.

Business employs millions in the region. It makes profit which generates taxation which pays for our schools and hospitals. No successful business…no jobs; no successful business…..no hospitals, period.

Lord Jones promised to help the region “in an unpaid, part time ambassadorial role, spreading the word that the region is ready and open for business whether in Whitehall, Westminster, Dubai, Shanghai or Mumbai”. But the offer only stood if Mr Street became mayor.

The election for a West Midlands mayor will take place on May 4 2017. As well as Mr Street and Mr Simon, one other candidate has declared so far – Beverley Nielsen for the Liberal Democrats.

The mayor will chair the West Midlands Combined Authority and oversee an £8 billion devolution deal to improve transport, economic development, workplace skills and housing.

Similar Articles

Game: I don’t live in a 90% (or 100%) Labour city

Game: I don’t live in a 90% (or 100%) Labour city 0

Well, last week certainly had its excitements, didn’t it?  First, that penalty shoot-out business.  Then

West Midlands cities must tackle ‘digital divides’ to compete

West Midlands cities must tackle ‘digital divides’ to compete 0

Many UK cities are falling behind global counterparts in capitalising on the social and economic

You know the Meriden Gap – well, here’s the West Midlands Goodwill Gap

You know the Meriden Gap – well, here’s the West Midlands Goodwill Gap

I see in last week’s Solihull Observer that there’s a campaign to have the Meriden

Council: ‘time is running out,’ but when?

Council: ‘time is running out,’ but when?

"Time is running out and we need to see real progress." So says John Crabtree OBE,

Council: this time we’re serious

Council: this time we’re serious

Birmingham City Council today publishes an Improvement 'Stocktake Report' outlining the current position relating to

About Author

Chamberlain Files Weekly

Don't miss a thing! Sign up for our free weekly summary of the Chamberlain Files from RJF Public Affairs.
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!

Our latest tweets

Published by

Published by

.

Our community