The Chamberlain Files | Homepage
Former Birmingham City Council legal boss not ruling out ‘Mayor Mirza’ campaign

Former Birmingham City Council legal boss not ruling out ‘Mayor Mirza’ campaign

🕔25.Jan 2012

The absence of any significant figure from Birmingham’s ethnic communities entering  the race to become the city’s first elected mayor has been commented on a number of times.

It simply doesn’t look good in a city where most of the population won’t be white in about 15 years.

But could this lack of interest be about to change in a most dramatic way?

Former city council legal boss Dr Mirza Ahmad is refusing to rule out the possibility that he might stand, if a referendum on May 3 gives the go-ahead for a mayoral election in November.

Mirza, a forceful figure during his council career, can hardly be described as a shrinking violet.

His CV lists numerous awards and recognitions, including Black Lawyers Directory Lawyer of the Month 2006, named in Muslim Power 100 in 2007, and Society of Asian Lawyers Public Sector Lawyer of the Year 2008, not to mention running a council department with 800 employees.

Sadly for Mirza, his £115,000-a-year Corporate Director of Governance job disappeared in a restructuring of council executive posts last summer and he now runs his own private consultancy practice. He is also a member of St Philip’s Chambers in Birmingham.

His former council colleagues will no doubt be viewing with interest Dr Ahmad’s comments on Twitter recently, that suggest he could be prepared to run for mayor if no other “suitable” candidate comes along.

Dr Ahmad started the ball rolling by replying to my tweet bemoaning the absence of ethnic minority candidates. He said: “I assure you, there will be some strong candidates for the top job….it is all about timing.”

Asked directly if a certain former top council legal officer might fancy the job, Dr Ahmad said: “Not sure who you mean! It will certainly set the cat among the pigeons and bring someone who has a great understanding of system.”

He went on to tell me: “I am not going to confirm or deny. I couldn’t possibly comment one way or another, as they say.”

Intriguingly, Dr Ahmad says ideally he wants to see an ethnic minority candidate from an established political party running for mayor. But if that doesn’t happen, who knows?

Asked whether the city council workforce was reflective of the demographics of Birmingham, Dr Ahmad said: “No, it never has been and it has a long way to go. Just look at their top management.”

If we are to have Mayor Mirza, city council chief executive Stephen Hughes will be able to point to astonishing foresight.

Mr Hughes predicted marvellous things for Dr Ahmad when he left the council, noting in a gushing tribute: “Mirza has been a committed, effective and loyal senior manager for Birmingham City Council since 2000, giving solid advice and leading on important initiatives consistently throughout that time. With his talent, Mirza will have a great future, and I wish him all the best.”

Chamberlain Files Weekly

Don't miss a thing! Sign up for our free weekly summary of the Chamberlain Files from RJF Public Affairs.
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!

Our latest tweets

Published by

Published by

.

Our community