Who is Kim McGuinness, the first North East Mayor?

Kim McGuinness is the new Labour mayor of the North East representing around two million people in the region

Kim McGuiness North East Mayor

Labour’s Kim McGuinness has been announced as the new North East mayor, the first person to hold the new role which will represent around two million people in the region. 

She won with 41.3% of the vote, beating Independent candidate Jamie Driscoll who won the North of Tyne mayoralty for Labour in 2019. The North Tyne mayoralty will now be absorbed into the larger North East mayor’s role. Driscoll received 28.2% of the vote. 

McGuinness was the serving Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner since summer 2019 and a former councillor in Newcastle. 

The 38 year-old grew up in the West End of Newcastle, her father was a scaffolder and her mother worked part time as a secretary at a small insurance broker. She lives in Northumberland with her husband, a serving RAF officer. 

She has previously been keen to fend off attacks from opponents that she was Labour HQ’s pick for the job, and insisted in an interview with the Independent that voters should judge her on whether child poverty levels fall during her time in office. She said Starmer’s failure to commit to scrapping the two-child benefits cap was ‘disappointing’.

Among McGuiness’s pledges are to turn the region into the “real home of opportunity”, including new jobs, green industries and major public transport overhaul, including bringing privatised bus services back under public control.

Her new role will cover Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham as part of the new combined authority. 

Labour MPJess Phillips congratulated McGuiness on her win: “Kim McGuiness is an absolutely class act and good to see brilliant Labour Women being elected and Kim sang praises of @CatMcKinnell and @JulieElliottMP for their support. Both brilliant Labour women.”

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

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