Communist Party candidate Graham Stevenson is running against five candidates to become West Midlands metro Mayor. The election will be taking place on Thursday 4 May.
Mr Stevenson, born in Coventry, was a former trade union official in Derbyshire, President of the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF), and is now on the national executive committee of the Communist Party.
His policies include rejecting austerity politics, taking control of local transport, cutting fares, nationalising of the M6 Toll Road and building affordable homes. The candidate also hopes to tackle air quality and ensure minimum income for all.
The other five candidates in the running include Labour’s Sion Simon, former John Lewis boss and Conservative Andy Street, Liberal Democrat’s Beverley Nielsen, Green Party’s James Burn, and UKIP’s Pete Durnell.
The mayor will oversee governance of Coventry, Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country.
Mr Stevenson comes from a family background of mining and engineering workers, and has a history of taking part in strikes.
Mr Stevenson told the Birmingham Mail: “The aim is to take power from the elite and let the people’s voices be heard. It’s time things changed to end the system of property, privilege, and private profit.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Liberal Democrat candidate told The Boar: “Beverley will invest in our emerging young talent to help them link into existing businesses, start their own enterprises and support them in these early stages by offering free transport between 16-25 years old.”
They added: “She will create a new West Midlands Bank to support and nurture home grown enterprise as well as a £1billion Innovation fund offering bursaries and research linking business to our university and research centres as they seek to develop applied solutions.”
Thomas Soud, President of the Warwick Marxists, said: “We are supportive of any effort in principle to remove the Capitalist system and have economic power into the democratic control of ordinary people i.e. the working class.”
He also expressed concerns, stating: “Many of the demands put forward in the Communist Parties campaign for Mayoral candidate appear resistant to directly tackling capitalism. Instead they appear to ask for greater reforms in the form of extra money to fight austerity, cut fares and increase training. All things we agree should be done. But where will this funding come from?”
Voting will commence in May.