Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees says post being scrapped in referendum 'not about' him

  • Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees reacts to referendum result

Marvin Rees says the result of the Bristol Mayoral referendum is not a reflection of his leadership.

People in Bristol voted to scrap the position of mayor in a referendum on 5 May, just a decade after it was first introduced.

A total of 56,113 people (59%) voted for a committee system to be introduced, compared to 38,439 (41%) who opted to keep the role of a directly elected mayor.

Current Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees will stay in the position until the end of his term in 2024, when the new committee system will be adopted.

The Labour politician dubbed the city-wide vote a "distraction" from issues facing the city.

Speaking to ITV News after the vote, Mr Rees said: "It's a distraction with major consequences for the city. But, I really hope that my fears about the committee system are wrong."

Moments after the result were announced at around 3.30am on 6 May, Mr Rees said: "I’ve been clear from the start that it’s not about me because I’m not running in 2024. This has always been about the system.

“Having said that, we will work hard over the next two years, deliver for Bristol and try to make sure we get a really good cohort of Labour councillors elected so we really can protect Bristol’s progressive political culture.

“Our job now over the next two years is to continue to deliver, to get as much in place as we can to build momentum.

“There will be a lot of good things landing, particularly in 2024 with the arena, the L&G site coming forward on Temple Island, the university campus, Bristol Beacon will be coming through, City Leap will be delivering nearly half-a-billion pounds of investment in our energy system, so hopefully that momentum will carry on into the future.

“I really hope this committee system can deliver for the people of Bristol because that’s what they need.”

Mary Page led the 'It's Our City Bristol' campaign against the mayoral model. Credit: ITV West Country

Mary Page led the 'It's Our City Bristol' campaign against the mayoral model and said the result was a comprehensive rejection of the current system: "There are people who have discovered that, despite some of their differences, they can work together effectively.

"We are giving the people of Bristol the commitment that we will work together for the best of the city.

"This is a result for the people, this is about saying 'you are welcome, come into the council, we want to hear from you'.

"People voted for change. They voted for the positive option.

"What I would ask of Marvin now is 'please allow all of the councillors more access to help set up the structures that we need in two years' time."