Bristol mayor Marvin Rees rarely cracks a smile, but he looked decidedly gutted in the early hours of Friday morning as Bristolians voted to abolish his post. Rees was photographed at the count alongside Labour MP Darren Jones (see above). Wearing a black puffer jacket, Rees looked more like a homeless man who had wandered in off the street than a senior politician. He had campaigned to keep his post, declaring in a tweet on Thursday that voters could 'back or sack' him. A clear majority wanted to sack him.
While Rees and his £66k salary are secure for the remainder of his term, ending in 2024, it appears that he has taken the referendum outcome close to heart. After-all, it's only ten years since voters backed the notion of an elected mayor in a previous referendum. Since then there have been three elections, the last two of which were won by Rees.
In this latest referendum voters were asked if they preferred to maintain the current system or replace it with a committee system.
Bristol Elected Mayor Referendum 2022
Committee System: 56,113 (59%)
Elected Mayor: 38,439 (41%)
In a further blow to Rees, turnout was up by almost 20,000 on the 2012 referendum.
Rees took the knee during the BLM uprising of 2020 and later justified the attack on the Colston statue. He's the one who's cancelled now.