Liverpool

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson launches Walton MP bid

Joe Anderson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Joe Anderson was Liverpool's first directly-elected mayor in 2012

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has said he plans to stand as an MP in the city.

Mr Anderson hoped to become Liverpool City Region's first mayor but lost out to Steve Rotheram, who will be Labour's candidate in the election on 4 May.

It is not yet known whether the Liverpool Walton MP will stand in the general election on 8 June.

The Constituency Labour Party (CLP) tweeted it was "likely to be having to choose a new candidate as Steve hopefully will be metro mayor by then".

Mr Rotheram was due to decide whether to seek re-election as Liverpool Walton MP by 18:00 BST.

His decision is not yet known.

'Innovative solutions'

Mr Anderson told the BBC: "More than ever at this time, national politics needs people with local government experience who understand how precarious the situation facing local councils is.

"I want to take my experience into Parliament to not only protest against the cuts which local government is facing, but also to suggest the kind of innovative solutions we have been pursuing in Liverpool."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Steve Rotheram is running to be the first mayor of the Liverpool City Region

The deadline for anybody wanting to be Labour's candidate in the snap general election is on Sunday.

The BBC understands CLP members will not get a vote and the candidate will be chosen by the party's National Executive Committee (NEC).

Officials in the local party have made a complaint about the selection process, the BBC further understands.

Candidates for other parties have not yet been declared.

The leader of the opposition in Liverpool said Mr Anderson's plan "confirms the view... the Liverpool city elected mayoral position was redundant given the election of a city region mayor."

Richard Kemp, from the Liberal Democrats, said the party would press for the abolition of the post if Mr Anderson becomes the candidate for Walton.

Analysis: Claire Hamilton, Merseyside political reporter

You think nothing could surprise you in Merseyside politics, and then you get bolts from the blue, or should it be red, like this one.

Liverpool Walton is about as safe a Labour seat as it's possible to get so it's no wonder a number of senior local Labour figures want the job.

What's interesting here is that Joe Anderson was re-elected Mayor of Liverpool almost a year ago, and has often said it's the best job in the world.

But losing out on Labour's city region mayor selection was a huge blow for him.

It also suggests he's aware that his power may be somewhat diminished after the election on 4 May.

Mr Anderson was Liverpool's first directly-elected mayor in 2012 and won a second term four years later.

He was the leader of Liverpool City Council, and was first elected to the authority in 1998 for the Liverpool Abercromby (now Riverside) ward, where he grew up.

Mr Anderson had previously served in the Merchant Navy and worked as a social worker.

He was a key driver in creating a metro mayor for the Liverpool City Region but was beaten by Mr Rotheram, who won almost 60% of the second round of votes.

Mr Rotheram was first elected as MP for Liverpool Walton in 2010 after serving as a city councillor for eight years.

Liverpool City Region's Mayoral Election Candidates (listed in alphabetical order)

Roger Bannister - Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition

Paul Breen - Get the Coppers off the Jury

Tony Caldeira - Conservative

Carl Cashman - Liberal Democrat

Tom Crone - Green Party

Tabitha Morton - Women's Equality Party

Steve Rotheram - Labour

Paula Walters - UKIP

Find out more about the candidates - and their key manifesto commitments

Local authorities included in the mayoral region: Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton, and Wirral

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