Labour members pick ‘socialist’ for mayoral vote ahead of established candidate
Labour members have chosen a socialist grassroots activist over the leader of Newcastle City Council as their candidate for the North of Tyne mayoral elections.
Momentum-backed Jamie Driscoll, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, has beaten Nick Forbes, who has led Newcastle City Council since 2011 and is also leader of the Labour group of the Local Government Association.
Before the selection ballot, Mr Driscoll said he was standing on a “radical socialist platform against Labour establishment candidates”.
In a blog before the ballot, he wrote: “We can establish a People’s Bank.
“We can build community housing cooperatives.
“We can create a green energy company.
“And they can all be collectively owned.”
Mr Driscoll is a father of two. He is married to an NHS doctor and is a Newcastle city councillor.
After the result, he said: “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.
“I have a strong set of policies that will help to make a real difference to people’s everyday lives.
“I’m going to be working around the clock to get Labour’s message out to voters across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.”
The North of Tyne mayor will be a figurehead for the Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside areas with a mandate to support economic growth.
The election takes place on May 2.
Mr Forbes sent his congratulations to Mr Driscoll, tweeting: “Now the work starts to ensure we elect a Labour Mayor!
“Thank you to everyone who supported me and campaigned for me, your friendship means a great deal.”