Jamie Driscoll has been elected as the first regional mayor of the North of Tyne CA.
The count went to a second preferences after Jamie Driscoll (Lab) and Charlie Hoult (Con) failed to secure 50% of the vote in the first round, with Mr Driscoll in front with 16,540 more votes than his rival.
Second preferences left Mr Driscoll with 76,862 votes to Mr Hoult’s 60,089.
In his victory speech, Mr Driscoll described his triumph as a “victory of positive campaigning on clear socialist values”.
Mr Driscoll also said his election is a rejection of “dog eat dog ideology and the economic system that serves the interests of the super-rich above those of ordinary people”.
He continued: “Socialism is about levelling the playing field so everyone gets on to be the best person they can be.
“No one is in any doubt about where I stand as North of Tyne mayor. People want me to bring security to their lives.”
Mr Driscoll pledged to work with democratically elected councillors from all parties. “My hand is extended in friendship,” he added.
He also called on businesses to “live up to their social responsibility” and called on citizens to “take part in public life and actually take part in deciding our collective future”.
”There is huge partriotism in civic life and helping to defend our residents from poverty and hatred,” he added.
Mr Driscoll is a staunch Corbyn supporter who was aided by the Momentum and selected to fight the contest over Nick Forbes, the leader of the LGA’s Labour group and leader of Newcastle City Council.
Cllr Forbes has tweeted his congratulations.
Congratulations to @MayorJd4 on being elected the first Labour North of Tyne Mayor! Looking forward to working with you to create jobs, build new homes, improve our skills and schools and get more powers and responsibilities devolved from central Government! #HomeOfAmbition— Nick Forbes (@nick_forbes) May 3, 2019
The overall turnout at the election for the North of Tyne mayor was 32.4%. The North of Tyne covers Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council and Northumberland CC
The highest local turnout was in Newcastle with 37%, followed by North Tyneside (35%) and Northumberland (27%).
A week ahead of the vote the North of Tyne CA agreed how the first £100m of central government funding the area will receive under the devolution deal will be spent over five years.
The strategy includes £33m to boost growth in the technology sector, £8.4m for culture and tourism, and £12m to help marginalised and vulnerable people.
Under the deal the area will receive £20m a year for 30 years and has devolved powers over the economy, education and skills.