Home News Marvin Rees re-elected Bristol Mayor in 2021 local elections

Marvin Rees re-elected Bristol Mayor in 2021 local elections

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Marvin Rees has been re-elected Mayor of Bristol for a second term.

After two rounds of counting he beat Green Candidate Sandy Hore-Ruthven by 13,613 votes.

Mr Rees retained his position of city mayor for Labour as did London Mayor Sadiq Khan, but the party performed poorly elsewhere following Thursdays elecions, losing the Hartlepool parliamenetary by-election and many council seats.

Mr Rees cautioned against a snap reading from the rise in Green votes in Bristol since 2016, pointing out that last time roundmany people voted for Independent George Ferguson – who was not standing this time.

It is the second big win for Labour in the region this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, Dan Norris was elected the next mayor of the West of England, with Labour gaining the position from the Conservatives.

Mr Rees will find out on Sunday if Labour will have a majority in the Bristol City Council chamber as counting takes place for the council elections.

Mr Rees, for the Labour Party, first run to be Bristol Mayor in 2012, but he was then beaten by independent George Ferguson – who became Bristol’s first elected city mayor.

However, Mr Rees won the 2016 election and, on that day in May 2016, Bristol became the first major European city to have elected a mayor of black African heritage.

Among others, the Mayor has pledged to build 2,000 new homes each year, with at least 1,000 affordable, by 2024, if he secured a second term.

Alongside housing, Rees is focusing on jobs and opportunities for young people as his key election pledges.

During the last five years, his administration faced numerous challenges, including ongoing austerity, the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

The Mayor – who lives in Easton with his wife, Kirsten, and three children – was first elected in 2016 on a ticket of promising to build more homes in the city, pledging to build 2,000 new homes a year – 800 of them affordable – by 2020.

While he was unable to meet his election pledge on affordable homes and fewer than 350 new affordable homes were built in Bristol each year for the last four years, Mr Rees came close to hitting the broader housing target.

Between 1,350 and 1,994 homes were completed each year in Bristol in the four years from 2016/17 to 2019/20.

Mr Rees was born and brought up in Bristol by his British mother, a now retired nursery nurse, and Jamaican father, moving between St Pauls, Lawrence Weston and Easton.

The Mayor studied economic history and politics at Swansea University and has a masters in political theory and government, as well as a masters in global economic development – which he got in 2000 when he lived in the US.

Mr Rees – who grew up with seven brothers and sisters – entered the political world having graduated from Operation Black Vote and Labour Future Candidate programmes. You can read more about Mr Rees’ life here.

Voters went to the polls in Bristol and beyond on May 6 in what was dubbed Super Thursday, one of the biggest sets of local elections for many years.

On Friday evening the race to become Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner was won by Conservative Mark Shelford.

All 70 seats on Bristol City Council are up for grabs as votes are counted for all 34 wards across the city.

Local and mayoral elections were due to take place last May, but they were postponed at the beginning of the covid crisis last March because of the threat posed by the virus.

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