Andy Burnham has been chosen as Labour’s candidate for the Mayor of Greater Manchester.
The Shadow Home Secretary was today announced as the candidate for next year’s election, which will take place on May 4.
The Leigh MP beat former Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Ivan Lewis and current interim mayor Tony Lloyd to secure the nomination.
Burnham, who came second in last year’s Labour leadership contest, used his victory speech to call on Theresa May to honour her government’s promises to the north of England on the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’.
He said: “Today, I want to send a very direct message to the Prime Minister: you and your party have made promises to people here in the north of England and I will not let you walk away from them.”
Burnham also vowed to battle against any attempt to roll out grammar schools in the area.
Burnham served as Culture, Media and Sport Secretary and then Health Secretary under Gordon Brown, before twice standing for the Labour leadership.
After being heckled at the 20th anniversary commemorations of the Hillsborough disaster in 2009, Burnham became a fierce advocate for a fresh inquiry into the tragedy which caused the death of 96 football fans.
Speaking today, Burnham said: “I will fight as hard for the people of Greater Manchester as I fought for those Hillsborough families in their quest for justice.”
He confirmed that if he wins next year’s election he will stand down as MP for Leigh - a constituency he has represented since 2001.
His spokesman confirmed he would resign from the Shadow Cabinet “well in advance” of next May’s vote.
Andy Burnham: 3792 votes
Ivan Lewis: 1472 votes
Tony Lloyd: 2163 votes
The Mayor of Greater Manchester will be responsible for a £300million housing fund, and will be tasked will building an additional 15,000 homes in the region in the next ten years.
They will also be in charge of transport, and will be given some devolved powers over the health budget.
The post of Police and Crime Commissioner will also be absorbed into the role, meaning the Mayor will have the power to hire and fire the Manchester Police’s Chief Constable.
The Mayor will cover Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan, will control around £2billion of funding currently controlled by the government in London.
Defeated rival Ivan Lewis took to Twitter to wish Burnham well.