Liverpool

Liverpool 'metro mayor' results: Labour's Steve Rotheram elected

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSteve Rotheram says it is an "honour and a privilege" to be the region's first metro mayor

Labour's Steve Rotheram has been elected as the first "metro mayor" of the Liverpool City Region.

The 55-year-old was backed by voters in the Merseyside boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, as well as Halton in Cheshire.

The city's former Lord Mayor was elected with 59% of the vote. Conservative candidate Tony Caldeira came second with 20%.

Mr Rotheram will now lead the region's combined authority.

He has worked as parliamentary private secretary to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and served as MP for Liverpool Walton before Parliament was dissolved earlier this week.

'Warning shot'

Mr Rotheram has not yet decided whether to seek re-election to the Commons, the BBC understands.

Fewer than a third of registered voters used their ballot in the Liverpool City Region election, with turnout at 26%.

Only 21% voted in Halton, while in Liverpool 29% exercised their democratic right.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rotheram was joined after the win by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Liverpool

Mr Rotheram said his election was an "early warning shot across the Tory bows" before next month's general election.

The win was "the best platform we can have to demonstrate that Labour in power can be trusted," he said.

He said it was time for the region to "punch above its weight" and he would "work to address the north-south divide by raising aspirations for all".

Liverpool City Region has "spoken loud and clear in favour of a Labour metro mayor... a bold manifesto, a Labour vision and a fresh start" and "together we can seize devolution for the golden opportunity it presents," he said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted his congratulations, saying Mr Rotheram is "a person of great integrity, who will stand up for the people of Liverpool".

Celebrating in Liverpool with Mr Rotheram, he praised those who have campaigned for Labour.

Referring to the city's two Premier League football teams, he said: "I know there are two teams in Liverpool, but today there's just one".

Who is Steve Rotheram?

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Rotheram is the new figurehead for the Liverpool City Region

The Knowsley-born city region mayor elect was born into a Labour family with his father, a forklift truck driver, serving as a councillor in Kirkby in the 1970s.

He became a bricklayer after leaving school and set up his own company by the age of 22.

He was elected to Liverpool City Council in 2002 and was Lord Mayor during the city's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008-09.

Mr Rotheram was elected MP for Walton in 2010 with a 58% majority, increasing this to 72% in 2015 to make it Labour's safest seat.

Full results

Steve Rotheram - Labour: 171,167

Tony Caldeira - Conservative: 58,805

Carl Cashman - Liberal Democrat: 19,751

Tom Crone - Green Party: 14,094

Paula Walters - UKIP: 11,946

Roger Bannister - Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition: 7,881

Tabitha Morton - Women's Equality Party: 4,287

Paul Breen - Get the Coppers off the Jury: 729

More on this story