The leader of the Local Government Association’s Labour group has announced that he intends to put his name forward to stand for his party in the Oldham West & Royton by-election.
Jim McMahon, Oldham MBC’s leader, is widely regarded as one of local government’s rising stars and his departure to national politics is likely to be seen as a significant blow to the sector. The Manchester Evening News has already named him as the frontrunner in the bid to become Labour candidate in the seat.
Cllr McMahon has been suggested as a possible Labour candidate for Greater Manchester’s city mayor or as chair of the LGA, should Labour regain the chairmanship after next May’s council elections.
In a tweet this morning, Cllr McMahon said: “I can confirm that I have applied to be shortlisted in the Oldham West & Royton By-Election.”
In a statement he added: “With your support I will be a strong voice for all of our communities across Chadderton, Hollinwood, Oldham and Royton.”
Explaining his success in Oldham, Mr McMahon writes: “I became a councillor 12 years ago and leader of the Labour group in 2008. I’ve been fortunate to have been supported by an amazing group of councillors and members. We now have the highest number of Labour councillors in the councils history and resident satisfaction has increased threefold to its highest ever.
“That hasn’t happened by accident. We haven’t waited for government to fix Oldham. Our vision for a better Oldham has laid the foundations for the future with flagship schemes like the Old Town Hall cinema and Princes Gate M&S development. We are in the middle of our regeneration plan and I pledge to continue to play a role in these important schemes if I’m selected.”
Constituency members will meet to decide a candidate next Thursday evening. The date for the by-election, resulting from the death of veteran MP Michael Meacher, is yet to be determined.