In response to Keir Starmer’s speech on devolution, English Labour Metro Mayors Dan Jarvis MP, Andy Burnham, Steve Rotheram, Jamie Driscoll and Sadiq Khan said:
“As English Metro Mayors, we warmly welcome this call to restore faith in our democracy and build a Britain we can all believe in.
“Our Union is precious. Rather than stand by as division grows and our country falls apart, we need to come together as a family of nations and regions, in mutual respect and affection – and find a solution that can be worthy of support from all of us. A Constitutional Commission is a critical step towards this, and shows Labour is serious about this agenda.
“But this is about England and the rest of the UK just as much as it is about Scotland. The discontent with our politics cuts across the whole country. Three quarters of people believe our current system is not fit for purpose. Covid and Brexit have heightened that disillusionment.
“As regional leaders, we’ve seen the huge promise of devolution in England, but also its limitations in its current form. The COVID response and Spending Review saw power and funding flow back from the regions to Whitehall, and highlighted both the fragility of the current devolution arrangements and the shallowness of the Government’s commitment to them.
“Along with 40 local authority leaders from all the major parties, we made a call earlier this month for a Constitutional Convention as part of a wider process of reform. We welcome the similar call today from our colleagues in Scottish Labour.
“Across the UK, people want to take back control, and they want to unleash the potential of their regions and nations. We believe we can strengthen our democracy without sacrificing the ties of solidarity and community which make us more prosperous, resilient and connected.”
Dan Jarvis MP – Mayor of Sheffield City Region
Andy Burnham – Mayor of Greater Manchester
Jamie Driscoll – Mayor of North of Tyne
Sadiq Khan – Mayor of London
Steve Rotheram – Mayor of Liverpool City Region