The leader of Newcastle City Council has announced himself as the second Labour candidate to stand in next year’s North of Tyne mayoral elections.
Nick Forbes will stand against North East MEP Paul Brannen to lead the new combined authority covering Newcastle City, Northumberland CC and North Tyneside councils.
Cllr Forbes has been a prominent advocate for the North of Tyne devolution deal, which comes with a promise of up to £600m of government investment over 30 years.
ChronicleLive reports that should Cllr Forbes win the election, he would likely step down as leader of the LGA Labour group and as council leader. Should he lose the main election however, he is likely to remain as council leader.
north of tyne devolution leaders and elected mayor
Source: North Tyneside Council
Cllr Forbes said that, as mayor, he would fight the “further privatisation” of the NHS and “campaign against any further cuts to public health or council budgets”.
Mr Brannen said he wanted to “deliver a green industrial revolution that resulted in a booming economy” which would transform the area into “the greenest English region”.
Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry signed a parliamentary order earlier this month, allowing for a mayoral election on May 2.