Local Elections 2024: East Midlands elects Labour's Claire Ward as first mayor with 50,000 majority

Claire Ward 030524
Labour have won the East Midlands mayoral election with candidate Claire Ward beating Conservative candidate Ben Bradley. Credit: ITV News Central

Labour's Claire Ward has won the East Midlands mayoral election, becoming the region's first elected mayor, with a significant majority of 50,000.

The former Watford MP had 181,040 votes (40.27%) with Conservative candidate Ben Bradley, who is MP for Mansfield and leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, on 129,332 votes.

An average of 27.6% of people across the 17 electoral areas in the East Midlands Combined County Authority Area voted.

The new mayor will have the opportunity to address regional issues. Some of Ms Ward's promises include securing better local transport, more investment in the local economy and setting up a homelessness taskforce.

Pictured is the vote count taking place for the East Midlands mayor. Credit: ITV Central

What can the East Midlands mayor do?

The East Midlands mayor will have significant power over regional issues such as public transport, economic redevelopment, housing and living standards.

The hope is to make East Midlands more attractive to live and work in and more prosperous.

Who is Claire Ward?

Ms Ward previously served as an MP under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as member for Watford from 1997 to 2010. She also served as a Government Whip from 2005 to 2009 and a Justice Minister from 2009 to 2010.

Ms Ward lives in north Nottinghamshire and she is a qualified solicitor and a Non Executive Director and chair of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Talking Politics - the new ITV News podcast to guide you through a massive election year.