Stich-up Unraveling as Unions say no to Driscoll exclusion


“We are calling for common sense to prevail and for Jamie to be given the opportunity to stand in the selection to be Labour candidate for North East Mayor.”

By Patrick Foley

A number of trade unions have today written to Labour Leader Keir Starmer expressing their dismay and concern at the exclusion of Labour’s own North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll.

Jamie Driscoll was rejected from the long-list of candidates for the new North East Mayoral candidate selection process, prompting outrage and shock from Labour representatives, MPs and campaigners across the country. Now, leading trade unionists have added their voice, calling for “common sense to prevail” – with Labour giving Driscoll the opportunity to stand and for the party to uphold the right of members to chose their candidate.

You can read the full text of the letter below.

Open Letter to Keir Starmer & Labour NEC

We are astonished and dismayed that Jamie Driscoll is being prevented from being considered as Labour’s candidate for the North East Mayoralty. To exclude a politician of Jamie’s calibre and commitment represents a monumental own goal.

Jamie has already proved to be an outstanding Mayor for the North of Tyne. Be it campaigning with other northern Mayors to put pressure on Westminster, or working on a cross party basis and with trade unions and communities, Jamie has always put the people of the North East first.

Jamie’s drive and leadership in negotiating a devolution deal for the North East is widely acknowledged and as trade unionists we know that Jamie is firmly on the side of working people. He has stood with workers on the picket line and he has stood with trade unionists in their campaigns for better wages, jobs and services.

Working people need a strong voice like Jamie.

We are calling for common sense to prevail and for Jamie to be given the opportunity to stand in the selection to be Labour candidate for North East Mayor.

Mick Lynch – RMT General Secretary

Mich Whelan – ASLEF General Secretary

Dave Ward – CWU General Secretary

Matt Wrack – FBU General Secretary

Brian Harris – FBU North East Regional Secretary

Sarah Woolley – BFAWU General Secretary

Bob Monks – URTU General Secretary

Fran Heathcote – PCS President (signed in a personal capacity)

Dr Jo Grady – UCU General Secretary (signed in a personal capacity)

Steve Gillan – POA General Secretary (signed in a personal capacity)

John Hall, Dan Lister & Lester Russell – NASUWT North East Region National Executive Members

Dr David Baines – NUJ Newcastle Branch Secretary

  • You can sign an open letter to Keir Starmer calling for “fair and just treatment for Jamie Driscoll” here.
  • You can listen to Jamie Driscoll first hand on the issue, speaking at the Arise Festival session “The Case for Labour Party Democracy – For Members’ Rights & the Union Link” on June 14th. Watch it here; or listen on the Arise Festival podcast here.
  • Join the chorus of voices speaking up for Labour Party Democracy, add your name to the “Let the members decide – for Labour party democracy” statement here.
  • If you support Labour Outlook’s work amplifying the voices of left movements and struggles in the UK and internationally, please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon.

Featured image: Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor. Photo credit: Jamie Driscoll/Twitter

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