Richard Parker: Who is the new mayor for the West Midlands?

Labour’s West Midlands mayor, Richard Parker, is originally from Bristol and was raised by a dock worker and school secretary.

He left school at 16 and went straight into work at a local port authority.

He went on to get a degree in economics before becoming a public finance accountant and joining the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 1989.

In an interview earlier this year, he claimed he never really wanted to be an accountant and said: “People from backgrounds like me will understand this but what I wanted more than being an accountant was the security of a professional qualification. I felt it would give me some control.”

He eventually worked his way up to become a partner at PwC in 2006 and the company’s lead on housing and communities.

He has been a Labour Party member for 35 years and managed PwC’s relationship with the party’s frontbench between 2010 and 2015.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

While at PwC, he worked with council leaders to set up the West Midlands Combined Authority and helped negotiate the first devolution deal for the region.

He left PwC in 2016 to establish his own management consultancy, RP Strategy, which works with SMEs and social enterprising on initiatives such as green investment, housing and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

He has lived in the West Midlands since 1985.

In April 2023, he was selected as Labour’s candidate for West Midlands mayor over Birmingham City councillor Nicky Brennan.

The Labour candidate successfully unseated Andy Street on Saturday, winning by 1,508 votes and ending the Tory’s seven-year stint in the city.

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