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Four bidding to become Labour's North of Tyne mayor candidate

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Two more men have put their names forward to stand as Labour’s North of Tyne mayoral candidate.

Newcastle City councillor Jamie Driscoll and Ian Grayson, a former cabinet member on North Tyneside Council, have followed Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council and North East MEP Paul Brannen to nominate themselves for the mayoralty.

Cllr Forbes and Mr Brannen both announced their candidacy to lead the new combined authority covering Newcastle City, Northumberland CC and North Tyneside councils earlier this month. This came shortly after Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry signed a parliamentary order, allowing for a mayoral election on May 2.

The deadline for self-nomination has since passed.

Cllr Driscoll is a former training coordinator for Momentum who recently wrote a Facebook post detailing where he disagreed politically with his leader, particularly with regard engagement with party members.

Cllr Driscoll wrote: “Most members don’t even know how we decide our candidates, party members are not consulted on manifestos and, in Newcastle at least, the overwhelming majority of members are not informed on what their Labour group is doing.

“It’s an incredibly centralised and opaque operation. It’s hardly a surprise that so few members come forward as council candidates, and that so few engage in local elections. We need to do whatever we can to involve members in local government decision making.”

Ian Grayson is a teacher by trade and a branch secretary at the National Union of Teachers. He also spent five years as cabinet member for children, young people and learning at North Tyneside Council, but is no longer an elected councillor.

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