Salford mayor Ian Stewart to stand down – Hazel Blears tipped as replacement

Hazel Blears is being touted as a potential replacement for Salford’s elected mayor as Ian Stewart has announced his plans to stand down in 2016.

The Labour veteran has had a challenging few years since his election as the city’s first elected mayor in 2012.

It is believed family pressures are behind his decision to not stand for re-election after just one term in office.

Since Mr Stewart took up the post, Salford City Council have cut 1,200 jobs and still face making a further 400 job cuts as part of a £56million raft of savings.

The favourites tipped to potentially step into Mr Stewart’s shoes include the current senior assistant mayor and Labour rising star Councillor Paul Dennett and Councillor John Merry, the former leader of the council.

Others potentially in line to scoop the elected mayor role and its £69,000 salary are Irlam councillor and former Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority chairman, Roger Jones.

But the biggest name in the running is Salford MP Hazel Blears, who has been championed for the role by supporters in her constituency.

Ms Blears will be stepping down from her five-year role as MP at the next general election.

Image courtesy of Economy and International DCC, with thanks.

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