Rotheram hits out at Labour ‘factions’ as he wins second term

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Steve Rotheram hit out at 'transient factions' in the Labour Party after winning a thumping vote to secure a second term as Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region.

Mayor Rotheram landed around 58.2% of the overall vote to easily win the election at the first attempt – and avoid any need for a second round of voting.

It is a huge win considering the problems Labour have had in Liverpool in recent months.

It has always been clear that Mayor Rotheram was nothing to do with the problems at Liverpool Council – but some may have worried his vote share could be affected by anger at the Labour-run city authority.

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But actually things went the other way – as he outperformed Labour's local election efforts, not just in Liverpool but right across the city region.

His victory provides a rare moment of joy for a national Labour party coming to terms with a dreadful set of results this weekend.

And in his winner's speech he addressed what he saw as the problems with the Labour Party at present.

He said: "The recent days have not been great for our party.

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"For me the Labour Party is not just a passing vehicle to jump on to promote a personal ideology."

He said the party is "not a football to be kicked around by transient factions" and warned that Labour needs to "stop saying that we'll listen and start hearing what people are telling us".

The resounding victory for Mayor Rotheram, an expected thumping win for Andy Burnham in Greater Manchester and the excellent performance of Labour in Wales – led by Mark Drakeford – could actually put more pressure on Keir Starmer, who has led the party to significant defeats in the Hartlepool by-election and in many councils across the country.

While Starmer has been keen to paint these results as a residual problem – these other results suggest Labour can win well in some areas.

Mayor Rotheram now has a large mandate to continue his work at the top of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority – and say his major focusses will be on rebuilding the region as it emerges from the covid pandemic and tackling the climate emergency.