Labour candidate for West Midlands Metro Mayor.
This election is about restoring pride back in the West Midlands. For too long, politicians in London have made decisions about our area without knowing what it’s like to live and work here.
It’s a long way from Whitehall to the West Midlands and what gets lost along the way is respect.
I say let’s take back control from London – it’s about time isn’t it? That means having a Mayor standing up to London – not someone parachuted in by the Tory government to do its bidding. I will always put the West Midlands first, because it’s the place I love.
In the West Midlands, we’re not getting our fair share of national government spending. Scotland and London get more than £10,000 per head when we get less than nine. That’s not on. I’ll be the Mayor to lead the charge for a fairer deal for the West Mids.
We moved to the West Midlands when I was six. When I speak to people across the region, they want to know that when they vote for a West Midlands Mayor, they’re voting for someone who knows what it’s like to live and work here. My life is here. You’ll find me every other Saturday at The Hawthorns watching The Baggies.
I’m fortunate enough to have had a rich and diverse career, working as a sole-trader in the private sector; as a Birmingham Member of Parliament and as a government minister; and as a newspaper columnist.
I know how the corridors of power in London work – and what is needed to get a better deal for the West Midlands. But I also know what it’s like to have to create work to turn a profit, and to fill in my VAT return as a small-business owner.