I received Mayor Anderson’s invitation to a Sunday Brexit “Remain” party on Sunday. My initial reaction was: really, after the Remain vote went down? Then, of course, reality kicked in – there is still a selection for Joe to contest, and he will let no opportunity pass to win more votes.
Strange, isn’t it? The Tories staged a referendum in order to settle their internal party squabbles on this long-running sore. Whether the wider population wanted one or not, we got a referendum. It has meant the resignation of the Prime Minister. What odds are there on Osborne going, too? What does that mean for English devolution and the so-called Northern Powerhouse?
Cast your mind back to a newly-elected Labour council in Liverpool in 2010. Unlike other major cities, Joe did a deal with the Tory-led Coalition to introduce a mayoral system without the inconvenience of consulting the people of Liverpool. Despite the evidence of the votes in the other major English cities where mayors were rejected, local people in Liverpool were simply told to like it or lump it.
Now local Labour parties are having to make yet another decision, this time to decide who will be the Labour candidate (and favourite) to be a brand-new metromayor. It will be fascinating to see if that selection is won by spin and favours, or by a considered appraisal of the merits of the candidates.