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Labour’s Claire Ward voted in as first-ever East Midlands Mayor

Labour’s Claire Ward has been voted in as the first-ever Mayor for the East Midlands.

Her victory, announced at the Nottingham Tennis Centre on Friday, May 3, followed a similar pattern seen nationally.

She said: “I am truly humbled the people of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have elected me to become your very first East Midlands mayor.”

The Conservative Party’s Ben Bradley, who is already MP for Mansfield and leader of Nottinghamshire County Council was second.

He was followed by the Green Party’s Frank-Adlington Stringer, Reform UK’s Alan Graves, Independent Matt Relf and the Liberal Democrats’ Helen Tamblyn-Saville.

A devolution deal was signed by Derbyshire County Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Derby City Council and Nottingham City Council in November 2022 as a way to bring power and money into the hands of the region.

The deal will provide £1.14bn in funding, spread over 30 years, and powers to better decide what happens with transport, housing, skills, education, the economy and net-zero strategy will be moved up from Westminster to the East Midlands.

A requirement of the deal meant a new mayoral role had to be created, similar in that to Andy Street in the West Midlands and Andy Burnham in Greater Manchester.

Ms Ward was first elected as MP for Watford at the age of 24 in 1997, having stood as mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood in Hertfordshire.

After losing her seat in 2010, she moved to Nottinghamshire and later became a non-executive director of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2013 and was appointed chairwoman in October 2021.

Ms Ward will now assume the mayoral position and help oversee the newly-established East Midlands Combined County Authority.

The turnout for the region was 27.6 percent.

The results in full are below:

Frank Adlington-Stringer, Green Party: 50,666

Ben Bradley, Conservative Party: 129,332

Alan Graves, Reform UK: 49,201

Matt Relf, Independent: 23,359

Helen Tamblyn-Saville, Liberal Democrats: 15,970

Claire Ward, Labour Party: 181,040


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