First West Yorkshire metro mayor should be a woman, says Bradford MP Naz Shah

A West Yorkshire MP says it is "really important" that the first metro mayor for West Yorkshire is a woman when elections are held next year.

Bradford West MP Naz Shah said she hoped the people of West Yorkshire choose the country's first female metro mayor as so far only men have been elected to the powerful regional roles.

She was speaking during an interview for this weekend’s Asian Sunday TV online chat show recorded before Labour announced its candidate to be West Yorkshire mayor.

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The next episode in the “Let’s Talk” series, which airs at 7pm on Sunday December 13, sees the MP grilled on matters political and personal by the show’s host, Asian Sunday Online editor Fatima Patel.

The interview is expected to give viewers an insight into the relationship between the two prominent female figures in Bradford’s South Asian community.

After being friends for decades as young women in the west Bradford area, they fell out during the contentious 2015 General Election when Ms Shah first stood for election and ousted controversial Respect MP George Galloway.

Asked about the upcoming West Yorkshire mayoral race, Ms Shah said she would be backing Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin over Bradford council leader Susan Hinchcliffe.

Naz Shah was grilled on matters political and personal by the show’s host, Asian Sunday Online editor Fatima Patel.

She said: "It would be lovely to see, I hope to see a female mayor, I really do, it is time.

"We've got [mayor of London] Sadiq Khan, we've got [Greater Manchester mayor] Andy Burnham, we've got [Liverpool City Region mayor] Steve Rotheram, we've got Marvin [Rees} down in Bristol but we haven't got the women.

"We need a woman, that is really important, and let the best woman win. And that includes the NHS, I have asked questions of the NHS, I have asked questions of Bradford council, of Bradford police, that is my role.

"I am backing Tracy Brabin because I feel she has the leadership, I feel she has the passion, I feel she will include women and children because women and children are often not included and you can't have anything about us without us, I think especially with Bradford being the youngest city. She gets the relationships with Whitehall.

"Susan also has her strengths with devolution but on this one I decided to back Tracy. But whichever woman wins, and I sincerely hope it's a woman, I will work with the West Yorkshire mayor in everything I can do for the sake of Bradford and the sake of my constituents."

“Let’s Talk” airs live on Sunday at 7pm on YouTube Channel Asian Sunday TV link: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCwCF3sqrkN6ZcEp3SV5HIRg.