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The Labour Party have chosen the former Labour MP Ian Stewart to be their candidate for the directly elected Mayor of Salford. The election takes place in May and the selection of Mr Stewart is a snub to the Labour council leader Cllr John Merry.

The Conservative candidate is Cllr Karen Garrido who is promising lower Council Tax. I hope she will provide more details in the coming weeks. The high level of Council Tax was what prompted the referendum for a directly elected Mayor in the first place. So it is important for Cllr Garrido's pledge to be both bold and credible. There is plenty of material for her.

But what of Mr Stewart? He is a former union official. Then when he became an MP he was a left wing rebel. His support for increased public spending included claiming the maximum possible for food of £4,800 a year as well as £500 for a leather suite.

Is he really likely to be the man to cut the Council Tax?

11 comments for: Labour choose former MP as candidate for Mayor of Salford