Latest Public Sector News

20.02.19

Driscoll beats his own council’s leader to Labour nomination for the first North of Tyne mayor

Jamie Driscoll has been selected as Labour’s candidate to become the mayor of the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) after beating Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes.

Driscoll, a councillor under Forbes at Newcastle City Council, won the nomination after receiving endorsement from John McDonnell and from Momentum.

He won by 2,514 votes to 1,913 in a vote of North East Labour party members, and will go into the mayoral election as the Labour candidate and as the frontrunner.

Speaking after the announcement, Driscoll said: “I’m thrilled to have been selected as Labour’s candidate for North of Tyne mayor. It is a real honour and I’m humbled that local members have put their faith in me.

“We need a Labour mayor now more than ever to stand up to Tory cuts, make our voice heard in Westminster and get the investment we sorely need for our schools, services and NHS.”

Driscoll reiterated campaign pledges to set up a ‘People’s bank’, declare a climate emergency and cut ties with large corporate contractors in favour of local suppliers.

The 48-year-old from Teesside has less than a years’ experience in front line politics, but comfortably saw off the leader of his own council to win the nomination.

Norma Redfearn, Labour’s interim Mayor for North of Tyne, said: “This process has been the Labour Party at its best with a robust debate and open process.

“We need a Labour Mayor because when Labour is in power we make a real and lasting difference to people’s lives. The North South divide has become even more extreme after years of Tory austerity and Jamie will stand up and say enough is enough.”

The election to become the mayor of the North of Tyne Combined Authority will now take place on 2 May.

The government’s £600m devolution deal was confirmed in November in a “once-in-a-generation” move, creating the combined authority.

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