Manchester: Andy Burnham says reelection is 'message to Westminster'

8 May 2021, 17:48

Andy Burnham has been reelected
Andy Burnham has been reelected. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Labour's Andy Burnham has been reelected Mayor of Greater Manchester in a resounding result – as his party continues to see poor results in England's local elections.

The former MP polled 67% of the vote, well ahead of Conservative challenger Laura Evans, who took 17%.

He said his vote sent a message that people in England want more devolution.

None of the other candidates pulled more than 4% of votes.

He thanked his parents and said: "Thank you all for your patience, your guidance, your love and support."

"I will continue to be a voice for all people and all communities. I will continue to adopt a place-first, not party-first approach," he said.

Read more: Elections 2021: Key moments across UK as London results filter in

"This vote sends a clear message to all Westminster parties. People are buying in to English devolution.

"They are telling you to deliver more of it, not less of it. They like us having the ability to do more for ourselves.

"They can see how it is making politics work better for them and that is reflected in the council results across Greater Manchester. They value the stronger voice it has given to the north of England.

"Don't give us devolution and be surprised if we answer you back, particularly if you do things here you would never do in London."

His reelection means Labour continues to hold one part of its traditional heartland, having lost Hartlepool to the Conservatives and a number of red seats in English councils.