Mayor's will be May's real opposition

If, as seems increasingly likely, Theresa May comfortably wins the General Election next month; and then Jeremy Corbyn and his cronies, led by Trade Union cheerleader Len McCluskey, continue to control the Labour Party, where will a credible opposition to the government come from?

Whatever your political viewpoint, it is indisputable that a weak opposition is not good for either the ruling party, nor the country.

For the administration, it leads to complacency, a focus on internal rather than external matters, and eventually a heavy defeat (admittedly, this can take years, rather than months).

So, in the absence of a parliamentary opposition, where will the necessary scrutiny and challenges come from, other than, perhaps, disillusioned Tory backbenchers?

Step forward Sadiq Khan, Andy Burnham, and Steve Rotheram, the elected mayors for London, Greater Manchester, and the Liverpool city region.

These three Labour politicians now have an enormous amount of ‘soft’ power and influence. Importantly, they also have the ear of the media.

In their respective cities, they will have much to say on investment, or lack of it, particularly in relation to big infrastructure projects. But on national issues too, particularly Brexit, the three mayors will demand a say on negotiations that will inevitably impact on the communities they represent.

When an alternative view to the government line is required, I expect the BBC, Sky, and other news media to be more interested in the opinions of Labour leaders with credibility, power, and influence, rather than the patsy sat on the green opposition at Westminster.

I have noted with interest this week the regional mayors and Sadiq Khan had a joint meeting to discuss strategy. Note to the early co-operation between Burnham and Rotheram over calls for investment in rail infrastructure in the Northwest.

This new breed of regional politician, ironically the product of former Tory Chancellor George Osborne, will be the real opposition to Theresa May and her team post-election; assuming ‘Old’ Labour continues its suicide mission.

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