Prime Minister David Cameron has headed west, to Bristol, to urge Bristolians to vote ‘yes’ in the Bristol Mayor referendum next week – in what he says is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity.
Mr Cameron told the Radio 4 Today programme this morning: “The establishments in these cities are often massively against Mayors, so that the only chance you have of actually getting change is offering the people the chance to step over the heads of the elites and say, actually, no we’d like this change. And I hope that in Bristol and Birmingham and elsewhere, people will vote for a mayor.”
The Conservative will give his speech to political activists at 6pm tonight at a secret Bristol location. Authorities are keen to avoid any political protests or disruption, so are only releasing location details to selected media and interested parties after 5pm. He will say: “It’s a once-in-a-generation chance to change the way our country is run. I passionately want those cities – from Bristol to Birmingham, Nottingham to Newcastle, Sheffield to Wakefield – to give a resounding, emphatic yes next week.”
He added: “So my message to voters is simple: don’t miss out. This is it. One moment. One chance. One day when you can change the course of your city. You can see that place you live in stagnate or reach for something more. Join the race or fall behind. If you want a powerful figure who loves your city running your city – get out and vote yes.”
Also taking place, at Bristol Grammar School at 6.30pm this evening, is a public discussion on the Mayoral debate – which includes a pro-Mayoral talk from Roy Mallen, a policeman who went on to become Mayor of Middlesborough. Other speakers include Peter Abraham, leader of the Bristol Conservative Party, Gus Baker, President of the Students’ Union and Labour’s Paul Smith, Alderman of Bristol City Council.
Christina Zaba, of the Mayor of Bristol campaign, said: “This is a chance for everyone to come and learn more about what elected Mayors are about. With the vote in Bristol now just a couple of weeks away, it’s important everyone knows what they’re voting for.”