Brabin, Tracy

Who is Tracy Brabin?

Tracy Brabin has been the Labour Mayor of West Yorkshire since 2021. She is the first woman to serve as UK Met Mayor.

Brabin was born on 9 May 1961. She grew up in Batley in Yorkshire’s West Riding and attended Heckmondwike Grammar School.

Growing up, she received free school meals and her first job was as a hairdresser.

She has said that watching headline acts at the Batley Variety Club, including Louis Armstrong, Eartha Kitt and Shirley Basse, inspired her to work in the entertainment industry. She was well known for her role as Coronation Street actress.

She married actor and director Richard Platt in 2005.

Brabin’s mother still lives on the Birstall council estate where she was raised.

Mayor of West Yorkshire

Ahead of her election to the mayoralty of her home county, Brabin said that her priorities as Mayor would be “protecting and creating good, well-paid jobs… alongside the green economy; safer streets and community policing; expanding clean and green transport, including a mass transit system for the region and ensuring a fair recovery from the COVID19 pandemic.”

She also said that social housing was a priority for her agenda, telling the Telegraph & Argus: “There’s shovel-ready projects such as retrofitting homes ready to go, and I will be getting social housing building up and running again. I absolutely understand the value of social housing, and while I can’t yet give specific numbers I will commit to social housing as a way forward because families like mine were saved by social housing and because of the opportunities it gave me.”

She also said that the crime rates in the area needed to be partly remedied by prevention, vowing to install a Domestic Violence Perpetrator Pilot.

Like the Mayors of London and Greater Manchester respectively, the mayoralty of West Yorkshire incorporates the functions of the police and crime commissioner. The mayor can appoint a deputy mayor for policing and crime. Both are responsible for outlining plans for West Yorkshire Police to tackle crime.

The devolution settlement agreed for the region in 2020 will involve a £38 million-per-year investment over 30 years.

The mayor is responsible for regional transport, elements of housing and land and adult skills.

West Yorkshire‘s five metropolitan borough councils, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield are under the mayor‘s oversight.

In the role, Brabin receives a salary of £105,000. Her office is in Wellington House, Leeds.

Political Career

Tracy Brabin served as ‌the‌ Labour MP‌ ‌for Batley and Spen‌ until 2021. She was ‌first‌ ‌elected‌ ‌to‌ ‌Parliament‌ ‌in‌ a 2016 by-election, after the murder of the former Labour MP, Jo Cox.

In 2019 Brabin said the Labour party should support its MPs at risk of deselection after they spoke up about allegations of antisemitism under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

She also suggested misogyny was a factor in the criticism of the female MPs, including Jewish MPs Margaret Hodge and Louise Ellman.

Brabin served as Shadow Culture Minister after her predecessor Tom Watson stood down at the 2019 election.

In February 2020 she sparked criticism after wearing a top that left one shoulder exposed during a House of Commons debate.

She defended her clothing choice, and brushed off the backlash, telling MailOnline: “Twas ever thus. Women are judged continually by how they look… it is unacceptable that we are raising our daughters to be looking inwards rather than outwards. They are anonymous people often, keyboard warriors sat in their mum’s back bedroom eating Pot Noodles and having a pop at people they don’t know anything about.”

Brabin supported Keir Starmer in the 2020 Labour leadership contest and was appointed Shadow Minister for Cultural Industries following his ascension to the party leadership.

She stepped down from her Batley and Spen seat in 2021 after winning the West Yorkshire mayoral election.

Was Tracy Brabin in Coronation Street?

Born‌ ‌in 1961 in Batley, Brabin studied drama at Loughborough University and gained a Master of Arts degree in screenwriting from the London College of Communication of the University of the Arts London in 2001.

She subsequently worked as an actress and a television writer.

She played Tricia Armstrong in Coronation Street and Roxy in EastEnders.

She also went on to appear in soaps Casualty, Emmerdale, Holby City and Doctors, and dramas The Ghost Hunter, Love + Hate, Midsomer Murders and Law & Order: UK.

Brabin has written for Heartbeat, Family Affairs, Crossroads, The Story of Tracy Beaker, Hollyoaks, and Shameless.

In 2008 she played mother-of-two Sarah in several Sainsbury’s TV adverts.

In her youth, Brabin marched on Greenham Common and organised donations during the miners’ strike.

Before her election, Brabin had been a public supporter of the Labour Party, endorsing them ahead of the 1997 general election, after penning a piece for the Daily Mirror in which she described how her father-in-law had passed away on a hospital trolley while waiting to be consulted by a doctor.

In March 2005 she and eight other actors penned a letter to The Observer in which they said they opposed the Iraq War but still supported Tony Blair’s re-election.

Social media

Website‌ ‌-‌ ‌ ‌

Twitter‌ ‌-‌ ‌ ‌ @TracyBrabin