Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham
Steve Rotheram [L] and Andy Burnham [R] have been elected as Labour's candidates Getty

Steve Rotheram, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, has been elected as the party's nominee for the Liverpool City Region metro mayor election to take place in May 2017. Rotheram beat Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger and current mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.

The members' ballot saw a turnout of more than 72%, with Rotherham securing 2,670 votes in the second round and Anderson attracting 2,042. Berger, who quit as shadow mental health minister in June, secured 1,641 first preference votes.

"I am deeply honoured and humbled to be selected as the Labour party candidate for the Liverpool City Region metro mayor," Rotheram said.

"I am extremely grateful to the thousands of party members who have chosen to place their trust in me and I am determined not to let them down.

He added: "As metro mayor, I will put social justice at the heart of my administration; something which I've been passionate about all of my political career.

"I'll stand up for ordinary people and be a real champion for Merseyside and Halton on the national and international stage.

"Devolution presents us with a unique opportunity to make decisions locally, in the interests of local people, to ensure each person within our six districts has the best chance in life."

The new nominee also serves as parliamentary private secretary to Corbyn, who praised Rotheram as a "tireless campaigner and advocate for the region".

Rotheram's election comes after shadow home secretary Andy Burnham was appointed as Labour's nominee for the Greater Manchester mayoral vote and Sion Simon MEP, an ally of Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, became the party's candidate for West Midlands mayor.

The nominations come as Corbyn faces a leadership challenge from Pontypridd MP Owen Smith, the former shadow work and pensions secretary. The winner of the contest is expected to be announced on 24 September in Liverpool.