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Labour’s Claire Ward elected first mayor of East Midlands | Mayoral elections



Labour’s Claire Ward elected first mayor of East Midlands | Mayoral elections

Labour’s Claire Ward has been elected the primary mayor of the East Midlands, beating the Conservative Ben Bradley by greater than 50,000 votes.

Ward, a former Labour MP for Watford, stated she was “humbled” to have been elected into the function, and that voters had not solely endorsed her but additionally “a modified Labour celebration that may now confidently and with conviction say we’re prepared to steer”.

“You got here out and also you grasped the chance to take the decision-making out of the arms of strangers in Whitehall, and produce them nearer to dwelling,” she instructed voters in her victory speech.

Ward obtained 181,040 votes, in contrast with 129,332 for Bradley. The Inexperienced celebration got here third with 50,666 votes, simply forward of Reform UK.

A Labour supply described the area as “the beating coronary heart of the final election battleground”, suggesting the celebration’s snug win there is among the largest indicators but it may very well be on monitor for nationwide victory.

The area encompasses quite a lot of bellwether areas, in addition to many former “crimson wall” seats, together with Bolsover and Bassetlaw.

Bradley stated it had been a “hard-fought contest” and he was “vastly disenchanted within the consequence”.

“We’ve massively outperformed the nationwide expectations,” he stated. “I’m clearly vastly disenchanted within the consequence on a private stage, having spent two and a half years attempting to work to get us these powers and to get us this assist and this funding for our area.”

He had hoped his sturdy native connections and identify recognition – because the MP for Mansfield and chief of Nottinghamshire county council – would assist him buck the pattern of declining Tory assist.

He beforehand stated that, if elected, he would stay as an MP till the subsequent normal election to stop a byelection so near a nationwide vote.

In a reference to criticism over his juggling a number of political roles, he stated it had been “a vastly difficult interval as we tried to do numerous jobs, as has been identified on quite a few events”.

Labour declared the win hours earlier than the outcomes have been introduced on Friday afternoon, and tpolls had predicted the celebration was forward.

As votes have been being counted, Bradley may very well be seen wanting glum outdoors the venue and when requested by one reporter how he was feeling, he replied: “Meh.”

Turnout for the vote was 27.6%, with some candidates complaining the brand new function had not been publicised sufficient. There have been reviews that some voters didn’t obtain info booklets in regards to the function till after the vote on Thursday.

This was the primary time voters had gone to the polls to vote for a mayor for the area, which encompasses Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, however not Leicestershire.

Ward stated the brand new function would imply the East Midlands, which constantly receives the bottom quantity of public spending per particular person, would “not be behind the queue, not lacking out, and not second finest to different areas”.

Ward represented the constituency of Watford from 1997-2010, and served within the Blair and Brown governments as a whip and later a justice minister.

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