My Resignation From The Labour Party

July 17, 2023

Today I have written to Keir Starmer to advise him that it is with a heavy heart and deep disappointment that I am leaving the Labour Party. I will now serve the people of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland as the Independent North of Tyne Mayor. I’ve attached a copy of the letter.

Hundreds of people have asked me to run for North East Mayor. The election is May 2024.  I’m North of Tyne Mayor now, but the Labour Party HQ in London has blocked me for factional reasons – and people are outraged. They are tired of being controlled by Westminster and Party HQs. They want someone to stand up for them. They want a strong, experienced voice for the North East. People have stopped me in the street asking me to run.

Even if you don’t live in the North East, this all still affects you. Our politics is a mess and millions of people feel no one speaks for them. Politicians should answer to the electorate – not to party bosses in London HQs. The only ‘whip’ should be the people.

As North East Mayor I’ll deliver a Total Transport Network, create a job for everyone who wants one, and deliver a Green New Deal.

My track record shows what’s possible. I’ve been North of Tyne Mayor since 2019.  Despite the pandemic and national economic chaos, my team and I have worked with businesses to create over 5,000 new jobs, backed by our Good Work Pledge. We’ve built affordable homes in urban and rural areas. Implemented a Green New Deal and invested in offshore wind.  And delivered our Child Poverty Prevention Programme, hailed as an exemplar of best practice.

I put results first – I work cross-party and don’t play daft political games. That’s how I landed our new expanded devolution deal to unite the North and South of the Tyne. It gets us £billions to improve our region’s transport system.

I understand the cost of living crisis many of us are facing, I’ve claimed £0 in expenses and not charged a penny in council tax.

You’d think the Labour Leadership would shout about my successes – but it seems they only want candidates who’ll do what they’re told by Party HQ.

I didn’t become a politician until I was 48. I’m an engineer. Fixing broken systems is what I do. I value patriotism – and believe it’s expressed by public service, not xenophobia. My Dad drove a tank in the army, my brother served in the navy at the time of the Falklands.

My politics are simple – Britain should be run in the interests of the people who do the work. Including those unable to work, and retired from a lifetime of work. It’s not left-wing. It’s not right-wing. It’s common sense.

As an independent, I won’t have a big party machinery behind me with a national press office. I’ll need £150k for a full election campaign to match theirs. If I can raise £25k by the end of August, I’ll run. If I don’t hit that target, I won’t run. The decision is yours. Here is a link to my campaign fund DONATE.

This is not a time for faint hearts. It’s a time for bravery. If you back me, I will run. If I run, we can win. Shy bairns get nowt.

Here is a link to my letter  Dear Sir Keir