Nick was elected Leader of Newcastle City Council in 2011 and used his group’s victory that year to focus the council on social justice and job creation.
He was elected leader of the Labour group on the LGA in 2016, representing local government at the highest level. He has been elected on to the Labour Party’s governing NEC and plays a leading role in helping Labour councillors contribute to party policy.
He has defended the role of local government nationally in a time of austerity, lobbying ministers in successive local government finance settlements. Nick is committed to tackling inequality and prejudice and is determined Newcastle will become a better, fairer place under his leadership. One of his first decisions was to introduce a Newcastle Living Wage, a major step towards fairness.
He has made economic growth a key feature of his council, securing new financial powers by negotiating one of the first round of City Deals with government. He has also worked with council leaders from across England to secure the best possible devolution packages for local government.
Nick is the regional lead for Transport, as part of the North East Combined Authority. He is a member of Labour’s National Policy Forum and chairs FRESH, the campaign for a smoke-free North East.
Nick was born and brought up in the North East and graduated from Cambridge University in 1997, Sheffield Hallam University in 1999 and the Open University in 2010.
He has been a Labour councillor since 2000. He trained in the NHS and was chief executive of Involve North East, a regional charity established to give a voice to communities in health and care service planning and delivery.