North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, is perhaps typical of our political age. In a world where the surprise candidate is becoming far less of a surprise, he is the relative newcomer who beat Newcastle City Council leader and local government veteran Nick Forbes to be selected as the Labour candidate for the combined authority.
Mayor Driscoll was, until May, a backbench city councillor at Newcastle. With a background as an activist, he says he is ‘seen as someone from the left of the Labour Party’ but in person he comes across as far more pragmatic than dogmatic.
He even admits he would be far more vocal about the state of national politics if he was still a backbencher, but is aware his new post requires a more subtle and collaborative approach.