Dr Who star Jodie Whittaker backs Tracy Brabin’s West Yorkshire mayoral bid

LABOUR MP Tracy Brabin today launches her campaign to become West Yorkshire’s first mayor, saying it is time for her home county “to reach for the stars”.

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker is backing Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin's bid to become West Yorkshire mayor.

She says her journey from Batley “council estate kid to freelance actor and writer, living from job to job, has prepared me far more for public service than any elite university or political job ever could”.

And the former actress, who succeeded the late Jo Cox as Batley & Spen MP in 2016, was today endorsed by Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker who said: “As a woman from Yorkshire it is vital to me that we are represented.

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“There are no women metro mayors across the country, and we need our voices heard, not just in Yorkshire, but in Westminster and Whitehall.

Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin is seeking Labour's nomination for next year's West Yorkshire mayoral contest.

“Tracy Brabin is our shot at having that representation. She is a beacon of real and exciting change and I fully endorse her campaign as mayor of West Yorkshire. For women, and for all of West Yorkshire.”

The first mayoral election is due to be staged next May – the culmination of the devolution deal that Chancellor Rishi Sunak struck with Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale Councils in the Budget in March.

Nominations to be the Labour candidate have now opened – with the successful candidate due to be unveiled in mid-December.

Writing in The Yorkshire Post, Ms Brabin, a one-time star of TV’s Coronation Street, says her “immediate priority will be to build on work underway already to establish a Job Creation Taskforce to create good, unionised jobs and retraining opportunities”.

Currently a shadow culture minister, she also cites housing, adding: “With the numbers of evictions mounting post-Covid, ensuring everyone has a decent place to live must be a priority too.

“Working with experts, I will create a social housing task force, using Yorkshire’s expertise in building low-carbon homes to fund thousands more. Homelessness is a stain on our communities, and I will do all I can to eradicate it.”

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James Mitchinson