Jamie grew up in the North East in the 80s and saw how communities were devastated when industry disappeared. His Dad was a shift worker at ICI after he was a tank driver in the Army. He learned his socialism from his Mam. She managed to work part time and study at Sunderland Polytechnic to become a youth worker, all while raising four kids. She went on to be women’s officer for Cleveland County Council, a Trade Union shop steward, and chair of the Women’s Refuge from Domestic Violence.
He left school at 16 and worked in a factory. When he was 22, he went to Northumbria University to study engineering as a mature student, working part-time as a bouncer to pay his way.
Jamie worked in Blyth as an engineer making breathing apparatus, and as a project manager and company director in the electronics and IT sector, setting up his own software development business. When his wife and he had kids, he became a stay-at-home Dad, so she could continue her career in the NHS as a GP.
Outside of work Jamie is a black belt in jiu-jitsu. He spent decades honing the skill, then getting great satisfaction in training other people and helping them achieve things they didn’t think possible.
Jamie was a Labour & Cooperative councillor in Monument ward, Newcastle city centre, before running for Mayor. Jamie was elected Metro Mayor of North of Tyne on 3rd May 2019 and has been an independent Mayor since July 2023.