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Who is the new West Midlands Mayor Richard Parker? | UK News

Richard Parker has pulled off a surprise victory in the West Midlands mayoral election.

The Labour candidate unseated Andy Street, winning by just 1,508 votes, to end the Tory’s seven-year term.

Here’s what you need to know about the relatively unknown politician.

Originally from Bristol, Mr Parker’s father was a dock worker and his mother a school secretary.

He left school aged 16 and went straight to work at a local port authority before getting an economics degree.

Mr Parker went to work for PwC in 1989, where he gained his accountancy qualifications and went on to become a partner, managing the accountancy firm’s relationship with the Labour Party.

Mr Parker also worked with council leaders to set up the West Midlands Combined Authority in 2016 before leaving to set up his own company RP Strategy.

The firm works with small and medium-sized companies and social enterprises on initiatives such as green investment, housing and the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Liam Bryne with Labour's West Midlands candidate Richard Parker. Pic: Liam Byrne/X
Liam Bryne with Richard Parker. Pic: Liam Byrne/X

Read more:
Conservative Andy Street suffers shock loss
Tories suffer worst election results in years

He has been a Labour Party member for 35 years and was selected as the candidate for West Midlands mayor over Birmingham City councillor Nicky Brennan In April 2023.

In his manifesto, Mr Parker, 60, tells of his “ordinary working-class background” and writes: “I’ve never been a politician before, but I’m not prepared to sit on the sidelines any more. I’ll do politics differently. Things must change.”

His election promises include a plan to create 150,000 jobs and training opportunities across the West Midlands, revitalise high streets and tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

He has lived in the West Midlands since 1985 and spent his working life there. His wife works as a lawyer and his son works in manufacturing in the Black Country.

A Birmingham Mail profile of the new mayor says Mr Parker is a Bristol City fan who calls trip-hop band Massive Attack “friends”.

He also told the paper he likes cooking, watching live bands, going to the theatre and meeting friends for a pint or a coffee.

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