Labour's David Skaith elected first mayor for York and North Yorkshire

David Skaith
David Skaith won 66,761 votes. Credit: ITV News

Labour's David Skaith has been elected the first mayor for York and North Yorkshire.

The York businessman won 66,761 votes in the first poll of its kind since the formation of the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority.

He overcame opposition from Conservative candidate Keane Duncan (51,967 votes), Liberal Democrat Felicity Cunliffe-Lister (30,867), Kevin Foster for the Greens (15,188) and independents Paul Haslam (12,370) and Keith Tordoff (13,250).

Turnout was almost 30%.

The result represents a major blow to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is the MP for the North Yorkshire constituency of Richmond.

Mr Skaith said: "It's a whole whirlwind of emotions right now. We always felt that we had it, but we knew we had to get out there and really work hard.

"I just want to say thank you to every single person who has been out to vote and supported me.

Conservative Keane Duncan came second. Credit: Twitter/Keane Duncan

"Traditionally in York Labour's been pretty strong, but North Yorkshire hasn't always been the happiest of hunting grounds for us. But I think we are seeing real change there.

"There are a lot of people who are fed up with how the country has been run over the last 14 years and they want to see change and this has been a highlight. This is Rishi Sunak's area as well so this sends a very clear message."

Asked if Mr Sunak's unpopularity was to blame for his defeat, Mr Duncan said: "The national picture is very tough, we can't pretend otherwise. Rishi has personally supported me, he has helped me out on the campaign trail. It's tough, it's difficult, we have to reflect on this result and rebuild."

As mayor, Mr Skaith will be paid £81,300 a year and will have power over decisions on issues including public transport, housing and adult education.

He will appoint a deputy mayor, who will inherit many of the duties previously held by the North Yorkshire police, fire and crime commissioner.

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