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EDITIONS
Friday, 3 May, 2002, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Mallon becomes Robomayor
Ray Mallon, mayor of Middlesbrough giving his victory speech
Mallon: Every councillor will do their job
The former police superintendent Ray "Robocop" Mallon swept to power as Middlesbrough's first elected mayor with a warning he will make every councillor represent the public's interests.

Mr Mallon, an independent, who recorded 26,362 votes - almost three times the number of votes of his nearest Labour rival - accused many of the town's councillors of arrogance.


I absolutely give you a cast iron guarantee that every single councillor in this town will do his or her job properly

Ray Mallon
Mayor of Middlesbrough
He also used his victory speech to attack Cleveland Police for spending millions of pounds investigating accusations of corruption against him and more than 30 other officers.

He said the only outcome of the inquiry, dubbed Operation Lancet, was "you gave the streets back to the criminals".

Mr Mallon, who became famous for importing New York-style 'zero-tolerance' policing to the UK and is seen as a local folk hero, said he wanted to make a clean start with his political foes but doubted that would happen.

Guarantee

"I say to those enemies, if you cannot change and let the past go, then go, because there is no place for you in Middlesbrough.

"This has to be a team effort. We have to be together. It is your choice. It certainly won't be mine."

But he told his voters: "This is not my victory - this is your victory. The public of Middlesbrough, they have given us a mandate for change and change they will have.


The Boro now enters unchartered waters with, for the first time, a directly-elected Mayor

Stuart Bell
Middlesbrough MP

"There are some councillors in this town who are arrogant and do not think one jot about the public.

"I absolutely give you a cast iron guarantee that every single councillor in this town will do his or her job properly. They will represent the interests of the public."

'Custodian-type mayor'

No criminal charges were ever brought against Mr Mallon, although he faced an internal investigation in which he admitted 14 charges.

In his powerfully charged speech, Mr Mallon, who will earn 30,000 a year and control a budget of 160m, stressed that he would be "the opposite" of his enemies.

"I will never, ever abuse authority or power. I will be a custodian-type mayor. It will never be I, it will be we."

Stuart Bell, Middlesbrough MP
Bell: Offering to help the new mayor

Mr Mallon said he would give his full support to Middlesbrough Borough Council, stressing that it needed a highly motivated workforce willing to go the extra mile.

But he warned: "There are councillors here who think they are doing a wonderful job - then self praise is no recommendation and everybody can improve.

United strength

"There are councillors here who I know can improve and I have the evidence of it."

After speaking to some 3,000 people on his campaign trail, Mr Mallon, who claims he stands for "fairness and equality" said he knew what they thought of the councillors.

"Some of the councillors are absent. They are the missing links and it has to change.

"This has got to be a complete togetherness because individually every single one of us is entirely weak, but together we are extremely strong."

Boro interests

Labour's Stuart Bell, MP for Middlesbrough, said he was confident that the new mayor would ensure the best for the town, although he admitted the future was unprecedented.

In a statement he said: "The Boro now enters unchartered waters with, for the first time, a directly-elected Mayor and a Mayor who is independent of all political parties.

"I am confident however that the new Mayor shall work with Middlesbrough Council, with Labour MPs and with the Labour Government to ensure the very best for the town.

"I shall give the new Mayor all the help I can with government departments and ministers - in Whitehall and in Parliament - to better the Boro in the interests of its people."

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The BBC's June Kelly
"The people of Middlesbrough have turned their back on Labour"

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11 Feb 02 | England
11 Feb 02 | England
06 Feb 02 | England
01 May 02 | England
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