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Lib Dems announce mayoral candidate for West Midlands

The Liberal Democrats have announced their candidate for next year's election for West Midlands Mayor.

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Jenny Wilkinson (pic credit: Lib Dems)

Chartered accountant Jenny Wilkinson will contest the election for the anti-Brexit party, vowing to focus on the "core themes" of transport, skills and lifelong learning, housing and homelessness.

She has stood for parliament in her home town of Sutton Coldfield in the last two general elections, coming third behind the Conservative candidate on both occasions with 4.4 per cent on the vote in 2017 and 12.2 per cent in 2019. She campaigned to remain in the EU and stood in the 2019 Euro elections.

She has vowed to press Conservative Andy Street, the current West Midlands Mayor, on how the region can work its way out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Wilkinson said: "Helping the people, communities, and businesses of the West Midlands is something I was already working on before becoming a Mayoral candidate.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all of our lives, and our communities, and has brought to light the problems we face as a region.

"Improving our transport links, investing in skills and lifelong learning, and tackling rising homelessness, due to a woeful lack of warm, safe and affordable housing have, for shame, long been challenges in our area.

"If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that we are more successful, both as individuals and as communities, when we work together.

"Whilst access to basics like housing, education, and transport should be readily available for all, we know that too often, people have to go without. I also recognise that our cultural background, age, gender, sex, sexual orientation or the colour of our skin, can restrict our basic freedoms, denying us the chance to live our life the way we want to.

"People have told me they want something different and that I represent positive change. I hear you loud and clear - we cannot go on as we are. As your Mayor, I would work with the people of our amazing region to build a greener, fairer and kinder West Midlands.

"I know you’re tired of having politicians speak and do things to you, not with you. I don’t want to be seen as the Mayor, I want to be your Mayor, and together, we can build a brighter future for the West Midlands."

In next May's election she will be up against Mr Street and Labour's Liam Byrne.

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