A York business figure has been selected to stand as Labour’s candidate for mayor of North Yorkshire.

David Skaith will stand as a candidate in the upcoming election on May 2, 2024.

He joins Conservative candidate Keane Duncan, Green candidate Kevin Foster and Independent Keith Tordoff. The Liberal Democrats are yet to announce a candidate for the election.

David owns Winstons of York clothing retailer, until this month was chair of York High Street Forum and was previously secretary of Indie York.

He said he was “honoured” to be selected as Labour’s candidate.

York Press: David outside Winstons in Back Swinegate David outside Winstons in Back Swinegate (Image: Alan Milner/milnercreative)

“To represent York and North Yorkshire, the place I have lived my entire life, is something I would do with great pride and I have a real determination to drive positive change for the entire region,” David said.

The 37-year-old was born and raised in Harrogate. He first came to York to study at York St John University.

David returned to the city after working in hospitality in Harrogate and ran The North Face and Timberland stores in Petergate for several years.

In 2015 he started Winstons and was handed the keys to its Back Swinegate store in 2016.

When selected to the final two Labour candidates for the election David told The Press that a mayor would bring a “joined up approach” to solving key issues in North Yorkshire like transport infrastructure, a lack of housing and creating more jobs.

The new regional combined authority with a directly elected executive mayor is said to be worth up to £750 million for the region in total, with powers to invest an extra £540 million in the region over 30 years for local priorities such as economic growth, transport and the fight against climate change.

York councillors voted overwhelmingly in favour of a devolution deal at the end of February. Councillors in North Yorkshire have also backed the move.

When the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority becomes a legal entity in 2024, York’s Labour administration will have to work with the Conservative North Yorkshire Council administration to deliver for their collective people.

City of York Council’s leader Cllr Claire Douglas previously said devolution and the new combined authority presented a “huge opportunity” for the region.

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“Devolution will allow us to bring significant new investment into York and the surrounding region,” she said.

“It brings vitally important new opportunities to deliver sustainable, affordable housing and transport, to tackle the climate emergency and to grow our economy for the benefit of all our residents.”

North Yorkshire Council’s leader Cllr Carl Les said devolution would bring “real and tangible benefits for hundreds of thousands of people in York and North Yorkshire”.

“Devolution is about ensuring levelling up becomes a reality, tackling regional inequalities and bringing the prospect for more equal opportunities with better job opportunities and improved skills and training, more affordable housing and tackling the threat of climate change,” he said.