Labour's Kim McGuinness elected as first North East Mayor

The position is a first for the region and the mayor’s patch covers hundreds of miles from Berwick to Barnard Castle. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Labour’s Kim McGuinness has been announced as the first-ever North East Mayor after votes were counted in Sunderland this morning. 

Ms McGuinness won 185,051 votes followed by independent candidate Jamie Driscoll with 126,652 votes.

The results of the North East Mayoral Election are as follows:

- Kim McGuinness: Labour: 185,051

- Jamie Driscoll: Independent: 126,652

- Guy Renner-Thompson: Conservative: 52,446

- Paul Donaghy: Reform: 41,147

- Aidan King: Liberal Democrats: 25,485

- Andrew Gray: Green: 17,631

Speaking following the declaration, Ms McGuinness said: "Today is a really big moment for the North East as we take our first step towards taking control of our own future.

"My campaign for North East mayor started with an overarching sentiment: I love the North East and I know you do too. That love and pride we feel in this region is something that we're known for. It is our identity and it is our biggest asset

"Today you've elected a mayor who's proud of this region as you are, a mayor committed to giving the region a voice because his is a great region but for too long we have been held back; held back by 14 years of austerity and generations of centralisation. Held back by our biggest decisions being made for us by ministers and civil servants in Whitehall who don't get our region.

"Now, however, we can finally begin the work of bringing real devolution to our North East."

Kim McGuinness says she wants to put the North East on a national and international stage in her new role.

The position is a first for the region and the mayor’s patch covers hundreds of miles from Berwick to Barnard Castle.

It replaces the existing North of Tyne Mayor - a role previously held by Mr Driscoll.

It came to fruition after a £1.4bn devolution deal was signed in 2023, creating the role and providing the incumbent with powers on employment and skills, planning and regeneration and economic development. 

Who is Kim McGuinness?

Kim McGuinness is the Labour Party North East Mayor. 

She was Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) from 2019, in charge of overseeing Northumbria Police and aiming to cut crime in the force area.

One of Ms McGuinness’ key policies as PCC was to cut knife crime in the North East, working with some of the family members of teenagers killed by knives. 

Ms McGuinness grew up in the West End of Newcastle and studied at Newcastle University. 

She lives with her husband in Northumberland, who is a serving Royal Air Force officer.

What are Kim McGuinness’ policies?

While campaigning for the role, the Labour Mayor said her priorities would be "opportunity for everyone". She told ITV Tyne Tees "safe, reliable, affordable public transport [and] getting our buses back under public control" were key issues for her.

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