Lib Dem Councillor proposed as first non-Labour mayor in Gateshead
Following on from the success of the Liberal Democrats in the local elections in Gateshead, the party will be proposing Cllr John McClurey as the first non-Labour mayor of the borough at the Council annual meeting on Friday 17th May.
Since the Council was first established in 1974, every mayor has been from Labour. Most other councils share the mayorality around all the parties that have local representation. In Newcastle, for example, the post alternates between Labour and Lib Dems.
Have-a-go hero Cllr McClurey was elected to Gateshead Council in 2008. He had previously hit the headlines when he battled his way through smoke, fire and burning debris to help save a mum and her child in a house fire near his shop in Newcastle.
As a result of his actions, John was recognised for his bravery by the Royal Humane Society.
“It is a great honour to be proposed by the Lib Dem group to be mayor of Gateshead,” said John. “I’ve lived in the area all my life and I know I can make a strong contribution to civic life in Gateshead.”
Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Jonathan Wallace, said, “Gateshead has never had a non-Labour mayor before and we believe it is time that changed. Labour should follow the practice of their colleagues on most other councils and alternate the mayorality between the two parties represented on the Council.
“They need to back John so that the post is no longer restricted to the narrow views of the Labour Party.”
Labour’s vote slumped to 44% in the local elections in Gateshead earlier this month. They lost two seats to the Lib Dems as well.
“After all, Labour no longer speaks for the majority in Gateshead,” said Jonathan. “It’s time for Gateshead’s mayor to be appointed on merit, rather than for political reasons.”
Notes to editors:
1)Press report on John McClurey saving occupants from house fire:
2)link to Royal Humane Society report on John McClurey’s bravery: