Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis has said “I stand ready to serve” after he was chosen by Labour to be the party’s candidate and hot favourite to be the first directly elected mayor of the Sheffield City Region.
Mr Jarvis, 45, beat Sheffield city councillor Ben Curran in a two-horse race for the Labour nomination ahead of the poll on May 3.
But it is now expected that he will have to choose between standing in the mayoral election and continuing as an MP after reports that the party’s ruling National Executive Committee decided that candidates cannot have these dual roles.
Labour has yet to confirm that ruling.
The former paratrooper has previously said he would combine both positions.
Mr Jarvis will become the overwhelming favourite to win the contest as all of the 14 South Yorkshire constituencies which will take part in the election were won by Labour at the last general election.
The post of the Sheffield City Region Mayor has been mired in controversy because, unlike similar roles in Manchester and the West Midlands, no devolution and funding deal has yet been agreed to go with the appointment.
Two of the four South Yorkshire councils – Doncaster and Barnsley – have rejected a devolution solution centred on the county in favour of joining a pan-Yorkshire proposal.
Earlier this month, 18 of the 20 local authorities in Yorkshire agreed to back a proposal
to the Government to deliver a One Yorkshire devolution deal. Sheffield and Rotherham were the only Yorkshire councils not to sign-up to the plan.
In a statement on Friday, Mr Jarvis said: “I am proud to have been chosen, grateful for the opportunity to serve, and pleased to have been part of such a comradely contest; the conduct of our members has been in the best traditions of our Labour movement.”
He said: “The election of a mayor comes at a pivotal moment for the Sheffield City Region. To make the most of new opportunities, our first mayor will need to work with both local and national government to negotiate the best possible deal for the people of South Yorkshire.
“Only then will the mayor be able to end the status quo of how decisions are made and how public services are delivered; and use both devolution and co-operative principles to offer a more radical and effective way of serving the public.
“Today’s result is a vote of confidence in the platform on which I am standing, and the potential of devolution; first in the Sheffield City Region and then across ‘wider Yorkshire’.
“Thank you again to all those who have placed their trust in me. The Labour campaign to make South Yorkshire a stronger and more co-operative community has begun, and I stand ready to serve.”
Mr Jarvis was selected in a ballot of members by 2,584 votes to 1,903 on a turnout of 37% of those eligible to take part.