Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

Self-made North East businessman and philanthropist, Jeremy Middleton, is the first politician to declare his intention to run in the North East mayoral election, which is expected to take place in May 2017.

Speaking to journalists and supporters at Durham County Cricket Club, Jeremy announced his intention to seek the Conservative Party nomination for the North East Region; which includes the Newcastle, Durham, Northumberland, Sunderland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Gateshead local authority areas.

Mr Middleton, who sits on the North East Local Economic Partnership board and chairs its investment fund, outlined his priorities for the region*; including support for the NHS, investment in schools and work experience to create more opportunities for young people, and a billion pound jobs and investment fund to tackle unemployment and create good jobs. He also called for a fairer funding settlement for the region and more investment in transport infrastructure.

Jeremy said: “I want to be Mayor because I am passionate about making sure we invest more in skills, apprenticeships and jobs here in the North East. I want our young people to have the same life chances here as they do everywhere else in our country. I’m frustrated that the North East gets a raw deal.

“The old model of trying to run everything in our country from the centre of London is broken. We must not settle for what we are given. There should be no limit our ambition.

“The mayor must be able to stand up to vested interests, both from within our region and from outside it. That is why we need a mayor with a strong independent voice and not a career politician. I am a member of the Conservative Party, however they may or may not endorse me, and whatever the outcome, I do not and will not hesitate to criticise the Government it if it fails to deliver.”