Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham has been elected as Labour's nominee to become the mayor for Greater Manchester. The Leigh MP beat Bury South MP Ivan Lewis and interim Greater Manchester Mayor Tony Lloyd to win the candidacy today (9 August).
The vote saw a turnout of more than 65%, with 7,564 Labour members having a say in the election. Burnham secured 3,792 voters, with Lewis attracting 1,472 votes and Lloyd winning 2,163.
"To be selected as Labour's candidate for the first elected Mayor of Greater Manchester is a great honour and I thank our members for the faith they have shown in me," Burnham said.
"I will repay it by devoting all my energy to uniting the Labour family here, working to win back the voters we have lost and building a policy programme with broad appeal. I will bring forward real answers to our housing crisis and give new hope to our young people.
He added: "I want to assure people that I have heard and understood their call for change in politics and am standing in this election to bring it about. I want to open up politics here and involve people from all walks of life in the work of the Mayor.
"I will be a grassroots Mayor for all of Greater Manchester; for each and every one of its proud towns as well as the city centre. I will give Labour a stronger Northern identity, working every day to close the North-South divide.
"But I won't be able to do any of it alone. Making Greater Manchester what we all want it to be must be a collective endeavour. I will need to draw on all the support I can get from our vibrant voluntary sector and community groups; on the energy and idealism of our young people; and on the expertise of our business community."
The Greater Manchester Mayor position was created as part of former Chancellor George Osborne's 'Northern Powerhouse' plan, which has seen powers devolved from Whitehall to regional authorities.
Elections for a new Greater Manchester Mayor will be held on 4 May 2017 and the winner will control a budget of £2bn. Burnham is expected to be a favourite for the position since Greater Manchester is a Labour stronghold.
Other major parties, including the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Ukip, have not declared a candidate for the election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn congratulated Burnham on the victory. "This will be an opportunity for Labour to take its message for social justice to the region's two million voters in next year's election," the left-winger said.
"It's crucial that we have a Mayor willing to do everything possible to improve the lives of everyone in Greater Manchester and in Andy we have that candidate."