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Veteran Labour MP Ivan Lewis in bid to be Manchester mayor

    Ivan Lewis has announced his bid to become the first elected mayor of Greater Manchester.

    The Labour MP for Bury South, who is Jewish, confirmed he will put himself forward for the position - a week after Manchester’s police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd said he would also be seeking the Labour candidacy.

    Mr Lloyd has served as Greater Manchester’s interim mayor since June 2015.

    On Thursday night, Mr Lewis said: “I believe radical change is necessary in Greater Manchester to reconnect economic growth with social justice and begin a new era of politics with more open democracy.

    “I want local councillors, entrepreneurs, trade unionists, voluntary sector organisations and community activists to join me in a new mission to fight inequality and transform Greater Manchester.”

    There are almost three million people living in Greater Manchester. The vote will take place in May 2017.

    Former minister Mr Lewis – who was sacked from the shadow frontbench by text during Jeremy Corbyn’s cabinet reshuffle last year – has strong ties to the Jewish community.

    He openly criticised Mr Corbyn during the Labour leadership race and spoke out against him for his association with Holocaust deniers and extremists.

    The former chief executive of Jewish welfare body the Fed, Mr Lewis went on to serve as a minister in both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s governments.

    Under Ed Miliband’s leadership, he served as the shadow secretary for Northern Ireland.

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