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News / City Life

Who should be mayor of Manchester?

Manchester Town Hall
Robert Martin

Manchester will get an elected mayor in 2017 and there'll be no end of people thinking they are the right person for the job. She or he will chair a brand new Greater Manchester Combined Authority, a council made up of the leaders from our 10 local authorities, so they'll have a lot on. It's you who will be voting for them, so who would you trust to deliver for the people of Manchester?

We posted about it yesterday and on Twitter, BagLady said she'd do it, which got us thinking. So here are 5 potential candidates for your consideration.

Maxine Peake
One of our greatest actors is steeped in politics if her choices regarding the roles and projects she takes on are anything to go by. She recited Shelley's 'The Masque of Anarchy' for MIF13, an epic poem about the Peterloo Massacre which changed the face of politics for ordinary people forever. She's just played 'Hamlet' at the Royal Exchange too, showing how far she's prepared to stretch herself. What's more, so she's no stranger to a good cause either.

Karl Pilkington
Most famous as 'An Idiot Abroad', Pilkington could be seen as the voice of the ordinary person, depending on how seriously you take the word 'idiot'. Is there a danger of having someone who presents themselves as a bit of a buffoon leading a city? Maybe we should ask London...

Lemn Sissay
One of our greatest poets should be a shoe-in for the shortlist, given his credentials and skills as a public speaker. From humble beginnings as a teenage literature development worker for Commonword, a legendary Manchester publishing cooperative. Now he's as establishment as it comes but with a background which oozes credibility.

Christopher Eccleston
The Salford born actor has played all sorts of people, still mixing epic films like 'Thor: The Dark World' with community projects at The Lowry working with learning disabled actors. He's played Jesus Christ and Dr Who and his commitment to projects is well documented. But he's not reputed to be the easiest of chaps, and politics takes a good dose of smarm n' charm. That might really test his acting skills.

Having put his maracas down after years as the Happy Mondays mascot dancer, Bez has recently been pretty active in politics, hoping to stand as an independent candidate for Salford and Eccles. His platform of 'free energy, free food, free anything' could be a big vote winner...

So, they're our choices. Who are yours?