2021 mayoral elections: who are the mayor candidates standing in local elections, and what is a metro mayor?

Combined authority mayors have the powers to greatly improve their regions, and on 6 May, the electorate will have the power to choose them

2021 mayoral elections: who are the mayor candidates standing in local elections, and what is a metro mayor?

Almost 20 million people will be eligible to vote for a metro mayor in the upcoming elections on 6 May.

There are currently nine serving metro mayors, with seven up for re-election this year and a further mayoralty established for West Yorkshire.

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Only the combined authority metro mayoralties will be up for election this year, but there are also mayors with less powers who represent single authorities - usually large towns or small cities.

What is a combined authority metro mayor?

As directly-elected mayors of combined authorities, covering large areas with sizable populations, metro mayors hold significant powers and can have a major impact on the way their regions are run.

Metro mayors are responsible for growing the economies of their regions by developing strategies and using the resources they have available in areas such as transport, adult education and business support.

The exact powers available to metro mayors differ depending on their devolution deal, with the Greater London combined authority afforded the most devolved power, then Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.

Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester’s Mayor, recently announced that the region’s buses would be brought back under public control, using powers recently afforded through the government’s national bus strategy.

Speaking to NationalWorld, Andy Street, West Midlands mayor, said he thinks that for some regional leaders it is “too easy to point the finger at London”, and also called for further powers for metro mayors to have direct control of more taxes which are collected in the region.

Do people want more devolution?

Recent polling by the Centre for Cities think tank found that a significant majority of people in areas with metro mayors want to see them given more powers to tackle issues in their regions.

More than eight in ten people said they wanted to see power devolved further, enabling their regional leaders to provide more affordable housing, support business through the pandemic recovery and provide better access to skills and education.

Here are all the candidates standing in the 2021 metro mayoral elections. You can find further information about each candidate and the proposals through your region’s electoral website.

Who are the candidates in the 2021 mayoral elections?

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

James Palmer, Conservative (incumbent) Aidan Van de Weyer, Liberal Democrat Nik Johson, Labour

Greater Manchester

Andy Burnham, Labour (incumbent) Laura Evans, Conservative Simon Lepori, Liberal Democrats Melanie Horrocks, Green Nick Buckley, Reform UK Stephen Morris, English Democrats David Sutcliffe, Independent Marcus Farmer, Independent Alex Marvel, Independent

Greater London

Sadiq Khan, Labour (incumbent) Shaun Bailey, Conservative Sian Berry, Green Luisa Porritt, Liberal Democrat Peter Gammons, UKIP Mandu Reid, Women’s Equality Party Kam Balayev, Renew Laurence Fox, Reclaim Count Binface, Count Binface Party Brian Rose, London Real

Liverpool City Region

Steve Rotherham, Labour (incumbent) Jade Marsden, Conservative David Newman, Liberal Democrats Gary Cargill, Green

Tees Valley

Ben Houchen, Conservative (incumbent) Jessie Joe Jacobs, Labour

Andy Street, Conservaitve (incumbent) Liam Byrne, Labour Steve Caudwell, Green Pete Durnell, Reform UK Jenny Wilkinson, Liberal Democrat

West of England

Dan Norris, Labour Samuel Williams, Conservative Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat Jerome Thomas, Green

Tim Bowles, the Conservative mayor for West of England, decided not to stand for re-election.

West Yorkshire

Waj Ali, Reform UK Tracy Brabin, Labour Bob Buxton, Yorkshire Party Andrew Cooper, Green Stewart Golton, Liberal Democrats Therese Hirst, English Democrats Matt Robinson, Conservative

There is no incumbent mayor of West Yorkshire, as the role will be established following this election.