Councillor Andy Kelly throws hat in ring for Lib Dems ahead of May 2020 Metro Mayor elections

Date published: 19 August 2019

Leader of the local Liberal Democrats, Councillor Andy Kelly has announced he will be running as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Metro Mayor of Manchester in the May 2020 elections.

Mounting a grassroots campaign, Councillor Kelly stated at the selection hustings: “I am doing this, stepping forward, because Greater Manchester deserves a Mayor who understands what it means to study, live, work and bring up a family here; a Mayor who understands what we need to do to make our city region a player on the national, European and International stage.”

He has campaigned for a councillor pay cut, asking councillors from all parties to support the cut of their own allowances as part of a plan to generate £400,000 savings that could be ploughed into Rochdale's struggling market:

Councillor Kelly connects the homeless crisis with the housing crisis, citing the failures of local and national government to build enough houses, echoing the summation from many housing NGOs, such as Shelter and the Greater Manchester homeless network. 

He continued: “As the Mayor for Greater Manchester, I would take on the developers and urge local councils to address the housing crisis with real solutions.

“We don’t have genuine affordable living in most parts of Greater Manchester, and where we may have some, it lacks the infrastructure for people to prosper. People of all generations are being priced out of their own communities and this has resulted in destitution.

“We need a Liberal Mayor who can tackle the homeless crisis with compassion, not fancy slogans.”

Councillor Kelly stands on a revoke article 50 platform. Stating his anger with the two mainstream parties, he said: “The Conservatives are playing parlour games with people’s lives and Labour are betraying those they profess to represent – we know it will be the working classes who will bear most of the pain.

“Greater Manchester voters deserve better representation; we need someone who is not afraid to be frank about our future.”

Recently elected leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, welcomed his selection: “I’m thrilled to see Andy Kelly selected for the Metro Mayor election for Greater Manchester; his no-nonsense approach to Brexit will be welcomed by the people of the region.

“His passion, warm-humour and endless enthusiasm knows no bars and I look forward to seeing the fruits of his 2020 campaign.”

Councillor Kelly, a former senior youth worker, was born and raised in Rochdale and represents his local community as ward councillor in Milnrow and Newhey.

He is known in his community as a veteran rock star and celebrity quizzer, often referred to as ‘Andy Kelly – Man on the Telly’.

Passionate about musical theatre and bass guitarist in an Irish band, Councillor Kelly frequently tours the pubs of his hometown playing and singing in ‘The Scattering’. 

This year the Liberal Democrats made huge gains in the local elections, with 700+ gains nationally – the party’s best local election results. 

Three weeks later, the Liberal Democrats gained two members of European parliament in the North West.

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