Labour members have selected Liam Byrne as their candidate for West Midlands Mayor.
During his 'Radical Compassion' selection campaign, Liam put tackling homelessness front and centre. Today he set out his ambitions for:
• A revolution in building affordable green homes for young families;
• Making the West Midlands the world centre of green manufacturing jobs;
• Tackling the region’s knife crime crisis, including by employing a youth worker in every ward of the West Midlands to support young people and creating a Young Commonwealth Leaders programme to coincide with the Commonwealth Games.
Labour’s candidate for West Midlands Mayor, Liam Byrne said:
“I'm so proud that members from across our region and our party have united behind our campaign for West Midlands Mayor. Now, the real campaign begins.
"This is the first election since Brexit. The first election in a new, uncertain world. We need strong leadership to build a bold new future for our region.
“With the pioneering spirit of our history, we must now become the centre of Britain's Green Industrial Revolution.
"We were once the workshop of the world. Now we must become the workshop of a green planet. Becoming Britain's first zero carbon city region and bringing to our region the green manufacturing jobs of the future, low cost solar energy for our citizens, new forests and clean air.
“If we're to end the shame of homelessness we need nothing short of a green home building revolution. To end rough sleeping and to give young families their first foot on the housing ladder.
"Above all what I've learned as the MP for one of Britain's most diverse communities is that we'll achieve nothing unless we pull together as good neighbours.
“Our diversity is our strength. But we achieve most when we stick together and look out for each other. Communities that work together are stronger, and safer. Our young people should lead the way. And we need to support them with youth workers back in every neighbourhood.'
“As Regional Minister for the West Midlands, I drove through the plan that transformed New Street train station. As West Midlands Mayor, I will fight every day for well paid jobs, to end the climate crisis and to give our young people the best possible start in life."
Liam Byrne has also promised to deliver and expand the draft West Midlands transport plan announced earlier this week. Liam will also announce a bolder plan to deliver a zero-carbon transport system that also includes new cycling routes and an electric bus network in the coming weeks.
Turning to his opponent in May’s election, Liam added:
"We don't have time to waste. Our region simply cannot afford a Tory Mayor who fails to deliver. And that’s what we have today.
“Our Tory Mayor has broken every major promise he made.
“He promised that a Tory mayor would get more out of a Tory government. In fact, our funding is the second worst of any metro area in the country.
“The Tory Mayor failed to win the competition to bring Channel 4 to the region.
“Unemployment is up.
“We're building fewer homes ordinary people can actuary afford.
“Knife crime is at an all-time high.
“Congestion is worse and the disaster that is West Midlands Trains has been given a green light to carry on.
“We simply cannot go on like this".
Before becoming MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, Liam Byrne was a tech entrepreneur and a Fulbright scholar at the Harvard Business School. In 2004 Liam was elected with a majority of 460 and built the largest parliamentary majority in the West Midlands, at over 28,000.
As the first Minister for the West Midlands Liam delivered the funding to transform Birmingham New Street train station, before being promoted to Cabinet by Gordon Brown to help run Downing Street during the Great Financial Crisis. He has campaigned for the homeless community since he lost his father to a lifelong struggle with alcohol, and helped deliver £6 million of new investment in programmes for children of alcoholics. He lives in Birmingham, with Sarah and his three kids, and has authored three major books including 'Dragons', a sweeping history of Britain’s entrepreneurs.
Liam will be making a keynote speech at Aston University tomorrow at Birmingham & West Midlands Fabians to set out his plans for the region.
For more information or interview requests, please contact Harry Kind at email@example.com or 07980630201
• Nearly 1,000 more 16-17-year-olds are unemployed or not in skills training compared with the before the start of Andy Street’s tenure as Mayor.
• Number of new homes built for social rent in the West Midlands has FALLEN 19% since a Tory Mayor took over: three times worse than English average and down 82% since 2010
• Only £2 million of £211 million in house building cash made available to the mayor by central government has been claimed so far.
• Despite promising to end overcrowding in his manifesto, the number of people standing on public transport under Andy Street has increased to 19% during the morning peak times in 2018.
• The West Midlands Combined Authority Area receives less funding per person than all other metro mayor areas, other than Greater Manchester.
• The election for West Midlands Metro Mayor will be held on Thursday 7th May 2020.