Working hard for the people of the East Midlands
Sir Peter Soulsby MP has today, Saturday, announced his intention to stand down as the MP for Leicester South following his successful bid to become the Labour Party candidate for this year's Leicester Mayoral election.
On his selection, Peter said: "I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have been selected by the Leicester members as their candidate for this year's mayoral election. The members had five great candidates to select from and I am grateful for all the support that I have received from party members right across the city.
“There could be no greater honour and privilege than being Leicester’s first directly elected Mayor, taking this great city from strength to strength.
“Being Leicester’s Mayor is a full time job and over the next few weeks I want to spend my time talking to people across Leicester about their hopes for the future of our City. Everyone knows the importance I have placed on Leicester and the dedication and commitment I believe is demanded to become Leicester’s Mayor. For me, Leicester and the people who live here must always come first.
“Which is why I have one further announcement - today I am making clear my intention to resign from Parliament in order to focus solely on becoming the first elected Mayor of Leicester. I am informing our Party Leader and the National Executive Committee that I am stepping down and will ask them to make the necessary arrangements because that is the principled thing to do.
“There should be no distractions from the task at hand, our focus now should be the people of Leicester and working together I know we can make this city even greater.
"As a city we face some of the toughest challenges we have had in a very long time. The Tory-led government is making cuts to our public services that will hit our local communities hard.
“Leicester needs an elected mayor with real experience and a track record at a local and national level - someone who knows that it’s not just business as usual at the council but who has strong and visible leadership. Someone who will defend our local services, who will drive our economy forward and who has a bold and radical vision to put Leicester back on the map.
“As mayor the everyday concerns of Leicester residents will always be my top priority and I am looking forward to taking that message to residents right across the city over the coming weeks.”
Neighbouring Leicester MPs Keith Vaz and Liz Kendal have agreed to become the co-chairs of Peter Soulsby’s Mayoral election campaign.
Keith Vaz MP said: “We have today selected a great champion for the people of Leicester. Peter brings with him a wealth of experience and will be an outstanding Mayor for Leicester and that’s why I have agreed to become the co-chair of Peter’s campaign to ensure a Labour victory in May.”
Liz Kendal MP said: “Peter has an exciting vision for Leicester and is the right person to be Mayor for this city. I am looking forward to working with Peter over the coming weeks as we campaign to elect a Labour mayor for Leicester.”
Labour Leader Ed Miliband said: "I’m delighted that Peter Soulsby has been selected as Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Leicester. His background in Leicester is unsurpassed. While he will be a huge loss to Parliament and my team on the frontbench, I understand and accept Peter’s reasons for stepping down to focus solely on becoming Mayor. The fact he is prepared to do this is testament to the importance he places on putting Leicester first.
"Peter will be a great Mayor for Leicester backed by a strong team of Labour City Council candidates, and I look forward to visiting Leicester soon in the next few weeks to join them on the campaign trail."
Notes to Editors:
Sir Peter Soulsby was selected as the Mayoral Candidate following a ballot of all eligible members in Leicester.
The final result of the ballot was:
OSMAN, Abdul: 64 69
PATEL, Rita: 28 Eliminated
PATEL, Veejay: 85 85
SOULSBY, Peter: 248 269
WILLMOTT, Ross: 104 104