A Newcastle based businessman who had considered standing for election as North of Tyne Mayor has withdrawn his candidacy to support fellow independent, John McCabe.
John Courtney, founder of Maintenance Network Limited, had initially planned to run as an independent candidate in the election to be held on 2 May. However after the two candidates met to discuss their policies and vision for the role of North of Tyne mayor, Mr Courtney decided to withdraw and place his full support behind Mr McCabe.
“I have been contacted by many people urging me to run,” said Mr Courtney. “They all share my frustration at the state of politics in the UK and in the North of Tyne region which is why I gave long and serious consideration to standing as an independent candidate. I have followed media reports on each of the candidates and it became obvious to me that John and I shared a very similar outlook. We want to achieve broadly the same things and neither one of us is driven by self-interest or party politics.
“John and I met recently and we had a very frank, detailed exchange of views on policies. Our conversation confirmed to us both that we were standing for much the same thing so having reflected and carefully considered my position, I have decided to withdraw and offer my full support to John McCabe. I sense so many people are angry with politicians acting in their own self-interest so it’s important that in this election, we have a clear, independent alternative. John will make an exceptional North of Tyne Mayor. I will campaign and vote for him and I’m delighted to say the people who had initially been so kind in supporting me have said they will now do the same for him.”
John McCabe, who runs a small creative business based in Blyth, commented: “As soon as I met John I was struck by the passion and enthusiasm he has for this election and for the role of North of Tyne Mayor. John has some very pragmatic, sensible thoughts on how we can use the opportunity of devolution to invest heavily in job creation and business growth and to take more decisions locally on a whole range of issues that impact everyday life for the vast majority of people living, learning or working in our communities.
“I know from my own experience of the last few weeks it is a big decision to step forward for election and having done so, the decision to subsequently step down must be equally difficult. The more I get to know John, the less surprised I am by this selfless act. He is a very impressive man and I am honoured to have him on my team.”
The vote to elect the Mayor for the North of Tyne Combined Authority will be held across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland on 2 May. Local authority elections will be held in Newcastle and North Tyneside on the same day.