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Jones elected deputy leader

Jones elected deputy leader

🕔16.Oct 2017

Councillor Brigid Jones has been elected deputy leader of Birmingham Labour group this evening, perhaps just one move away from being the city’s next leader reports Kevin Johnson.

Brigid Jones (Selly Oak), the new deputy leader of Birmingham Labour group, said:

It’s an honour to have been chosen as the new Deputy Leader.

I want to pay tribute to the huge contribution that Ian Ward has made to Birmingham in his long-standing service as Deputy Leader of the Labour Group for over ten years. In difficult circumstances Ian has stepped-up to address the big issues facing our city. The other candidates too are great councillors and colleagues and I look forward to continuing to work with them.

Chamberlain Files understands that Cllr Jones beat councillors Trickett, Hamilton Ali in a four-way battle at this evening’s Labour group meeting.

Cllr Trickett gathered just 11 votes in the first round. Paulette Hamilton was then eliminated with 17 votes with Brigid Jones beating Tahir Ali the 47-24 in the final round.

The new deputy group leader will be put forward as deputy leader of Birmingham city council.

Cllr Jones continued:

As Deputy – I will support Ian and the Cabinet in achieving the immediate priorities of the council – firstly to resolve the bin dispute swiftly, and secondly to balance the budget. As Ian said two weeks ago – we must address those two things as a matter of urgency and send a clear message of reassurance to both the people of Birmingham and the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel.

As Deputy Leader I want to champion our city – and, even in the face of £700 million of Tory cuts, give Brummies a sense of hope and pride in our city. We have a huge opportunity ahead of us with the Commonwealth Games bid. It is an opportunity to bring world-class sport to our city, and put Birmingham in the spotlight – showcasing everything that we have to offer – not just sport, but also business, education, arts and culture.

We’re also working hard to create jobs and build homes for the people of this city and I’m determined to work with Ian and the Cabinet to get the best possible deal for Birmingham in the face of continuing Tory cuts.

Cllr Jones has led the Children, Families and Schools portfolio on the council’s cabinet since 2012. Whilst experiencing the bruising battle of the Trojan Horse affair, the latest report from Ofsted made for more encouraging reading and she has been overseeing the move of children’s social services to an arms length trust.

Cllr Jones will now be able to use the platform of deputy leader for the next seven months  – with the small matter of a waste management dispute to resolve; the current year’s budget to be met and next year’s financial plans to put in place and the improvement panel and Communities Secretary to satisfy – to potentially use toward a run at the top job after all-out elections in May 2018.

With the new leadership duo in place, it also opens up a space at Cabinet and possibly a re-shuffle by Cllr Ward.

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