It has been announced today (09/09) that Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, has applied to be the Conservative candidate for the West Midlands Mayoral election.

A spokesperson from John Lewis, said: “Andy has indicated to the Chairman that he is interested in running for the office, but at this stage has not been formally selected. A formal process within the Conservative party will now take place.

Should Andy be successful in his application to be the Conservative Party candidate, he has agreed with the Chairman that he should step down from his role and a further announcement will be made to confirm the succession plan for the future leadership of the John Lewis brand.”

As a result, Mr Street has decided to step down as Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), with immediate effect.

Steve Hollis, Deputy Chair of GBSLEP said: “As the founding chair of the GBSLEP, Andy has overseen a transformational change in the GBS economy. We are now a top performing region for the rate of private sector job creation and have seen the number of people claiming unemployment benefit halve from its high in February 2012. Last year was another impressive year for attracting overseas investors, with 81 projects in the area whilst the level of exports has also continued to grow. Andy has used his John Lewis experience to drive this transformation.

“It has been a privilege to work with Andy and witness the Greater Birmingham Solihull economy move from being the laggard in the UK five years ago to now being the leader across many measures.  Andy’s passion for his home region is infectious as is the way he has brought partners together to realise our shared goals for the area. We are witnessing an economic renaissance and new era of optimism. We are the outperforming region in the UK and we are positioned to be one of the global leaders. We owe a huge debt of gratitude for Andy’s leadership”.