The Labour Party may stop MPs from standing for election as city mayors, according to a major report in today’s Times newspaper (page 3).
If true, this would give ex Erdington MP Sion Simon a better chance of being nominated as Labour’s official candidate for mayor of Birmingham, if the city votes yes at the mayoral referendum on 3rd May.
Liam Byrne, MP for Hodge Hill, recently announced his decision to stand for mayor. Gisella Stuart (MP for Edgbaston) is also keen to stand. The Times says that the Labour Party is concerned that, if their MPs become mayors, they would trigger by-elections – and they are smarting from the wounds inflicted by George Galloway at the Bradford by-election last week.
Birmingham Labour members will be sent ballot papers on 25th May to choose their nomination for mayor – perhaps from a shortlist of two that could exclude Liam Byrne, according to The Times.
“Whoever is chosen as the Labour nominee is almost certain to win a mayoral election in November,” says the newspaper.