Andy Street has been re-elected as the West Midlands Mayor for a three-year term.
The Conservative mayor has today defeated his Labour opponent Liam Byrne, the city’s MP for Hodge Hill, after securing more than 314,000 votes.
The election, which attracted a turnout of 31 per cent, was decided using the supplementary vote system which asks the public to make a first and second choice for mayor.
The result of the first choice votes was:
Andy Street, Conservative – 299,318
Liam Byrne, Labour – 244,009
Steve Caudwell, Green Party – 35,559
Jenny Wilkinson, Liberal Democrats – 21,836
Pete Durnell, Reform UK – 13,568
In the “run off” of second choice votes, Mr Street won 15,351 and Mr Byrne 23,617.
Who is Andy Street? Learn more about the region’s mayor here
Speaking after the final declaration of the results at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham, Mr Street said: “There is no question that the West Midlands faces serious challenges after the impact of covid and we have no time to waste in addressing the deep-seated issues exposed by the pandemic.
“But equally there is no question the West Midlands will bounce back strongly and that we will create the dynamic, meritocratic, inclusive society we all crave.
“Why is this not just a political soundbite? Because of our history of defiance and rebounding after shocks, our natural advantages – the youth, diversity and ingenuity which define big urban centres.
“And now we have clear, ambitious plans for jobs, for investment in transport, housing, skills, and protection of the environment.
“That’s the mission. We can do it and together we can show Britain that something very special is being ‘made in the West Midlands’. Thank you for trusting me to lead our endeavour.”
The West Midlands Mayor is the figurehead and leader of the West Midlands Combined Authority, a so-called ‘super council’ encompassing the seven metropolitan districts – Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton – alongside other ‘affiliate’ local councils.
Its annual budget nudges the £1 billion mark and it has responsibility for key matters such as transport, local economic growth, housing and skills.
Mr Street was chosen as the first directly elected mayor of the West Midlands in 2017, beating Sion Simon into second place in what many had at that time considered would be an easy win for the Labour candidate.
The 2021 election, which was postponed from last year due to the covid pandemic, comes at a crucial time for the region as it prepares to host Coventry City of Culture this year and the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as well as battle back from the health and economic effects of the pandemic.
Longer-term, a programme of investment in new railway stations and tram lines is well under way while construction work has started on tracks and two new HS2 stations in Birmingham city centre and Solihull.