Andy Street
Andy Street, managing director of the John Lewis Partnership Getty

Andy Street, the former managing director of John Lewis, has been elected as West Midlands Mayor after a closely-fought count.

Reported to have spent £1m on his election campaign, the Conservative candidate won with 238,628 votes, with nearest rival Labour's Sion Simon gaining 234,862.

Street's victory has dealt a major blow to Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, which has traditionally seen the West Midlands as a Labour heartland.

Neither candidate won the required 50% majority in the first round, leading to second preferences being added to the results. The turnout was 26.8%.

Street, who was born in Oxford but grew up in the region, will now lead a population of nearly three million across Birmingham, the Black Country and Coventry.

Having put his business credentials at the heart of his campaign, the former John Lewis boss told the count at Birmingham's Barclaycard Arena that the victory would be the beginning of a "new, urban Conservative agenda".

He had pledged to deliver 25,000 new houses, invest in public transport and help eradicate youth unemployment. He accused the Labour Party of being out of touch nationally and vowed to make a success of Brexit.

"Back in September when we started off I talked about what I wanted to achieve in the campaign and I said I wanted it to reach every single community across the West Midlands," Street said, as reported by The Telegraph.

"I said I wanted it to be moderate, tolerant and inclusive and I said I wanted to present practical solutions to difficult issues.

"That is exactly what we have done and judging by the results we have reached every area across the West Midlands and we won support in every single community.

"What we have seen here today is what I would call the rebirth of a new urban Conservative agenda."