Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie joins Conservatives

The Elected Mayor of Copeland, Mike Starkie, is joining the Conservative Party.

It was announced on Monday that he has decided to sign up as he believes they are the best equipped to help achieve the ambitions he has for the borough.

Mr Starkie is an independent and has represented Copeland for the past five years.

Credit: PA

He said: “I am a committed Brexiteer and I believe the levelling up agenda that the government was elected on represents the best opportunity for progress in the north, in Cumbria and in particular Copeland for decades.

“The government’s devolution programme which I fully support will further remove inefficiency and bureaucracy that has held Cumbria back for years and indeed accelerate the still significant modernisation of local government that is still needed.

“Working closer within structure of a party who’s manifesto I have bought into and who will be in government in my opinion for at least a decade and way beyond my time of active involvement strengthens my position in representing Copeland and achieving the goals I set out in my own manifesto for Copeland last year which remains unchanged.

“What also remains unchanged is my desire to continue working in cooperation with councillors of all political persuasions in the best interests of the people of Copeland.”

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MP for Copeland Trudy Harrison extended her congratulations to Mike Starkie. She said: "I’m delighted that Mike has joined the Conservatives and I am looking forward to working with him to push for more growth, jobs and investment across the constituency and indeed throughout Cumbria.

"The Conservative government and our PM, Boris Johnson is committed to levelling up the north, we will be ensuring Copeland benefits from this enhanced partnership."