Labour candidate, is Sion Simon, former MP for Erdington. Candidates from the Tories, Lib Dems, UKIP and the Greens have already declared. The Combined Authority brings together seven “constituent” boroughs: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull. Walsall, and Wolverhampton, where the electorate can choose a Mayor. Voters in the non-constituent authorities of Cannock, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Redditch, Tamworth, and Telford and Wrekin councils will not vote but their councils will be economically linked to the main county conurbation. Another seven such authorities are awaiting membership applications.
The Communist candidate, Mr Stevenson, who has lived in the Midlands all his life, principally in Birmingham and Coventry, where he was born and lived in his youth, declared: “This is a chance for people in the seven boroughs to start the ball rolling on an entirely new project. We don’t want Blairite Labour here, it’s done enough damage and still does so. Mr Simon stood down as an MP to campaign for election as Birmingham Mayor but the voters rejected the very idea of such a mayoralty. Now, after back room deals with George Osborne, local politicians have excluded responsibility for policing from the Mayor, partly to prevent infighting. Many of the conditions relating to the election keep changing or are not yet properly revealed. This election looks rigged before it even starts. Rigged by the political elite to keep things the same. It’s time things changed to call time on this system of property, privilege, and private profit. But they’ve stitched it up. From start to end.