Thursday 23 November 2017

Big cities reject Cameron dream of mayors for all

Jonathan Brown in London

THE vision of directly elected mayors running all Britain's major cities was in tatters last night after voters across the country overwhelmingly rejected the proposals.

Voters in Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Coventry and Bradford all rejected the idea, which was championed by David Cameron. Bristol was the only city of 10 holding referendums yesterday to embrace the concept after the campaign won the backing of the local media.

Mr Cameron had attempted to use the example of the London Mayor Boris Johnson, saying he wanted a "Boris in every city".

However, critics argued that the proposals were unnecessary and would add another expensive layer of bureaucracy.

The prime minister had pinned his hopes on a Yes vote in Birmingham, alongside Liverpool's decision to adopt the mayoral system without a referendum to give momentum that other British cities would eventually follow. But 57.8pc cent of voters in the city rejected the proposal on a turnout of just 27pc, throwing the career plans of several leading Labour figures into doubt.

But the Labour leadership will be secretly relieved that they now will not have to fund expensive mayoral elections in November.

Manchester voted against by a margin of 53.2pc to 46.7pc. Liverpool and Salford elected their mayors for the first time, with Labour victorious in both cities. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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