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Labour councillors choose Shafique Shah to be next Lord Mayor of Birmingham

Labour councillors choose Shafique Shah to be next Lord Mayor of Birmingham

🕔03.Jan 2014

Labour city councillors have voted to select Bordesley Green councillor Shafique Shah to be Birmingham’s next Lord Mayor.

There were two candidates in a secret ballot – Cllfr Shah and Gurdial Singh Atwal – and the result was declared at a meeting of the Labour group on Monday January 6.

The number of votes cast for each of the candidates among the 77-strong Labour group was not revealed.

Some councillors argued that the voting figures should be disclosed, but officials decided to follow tradition which dictates that the number of votes cast for each candidate are not revealed.

The winner of the ballot is certain to be formally designated Lord Mayor-elect at a city council meeting next month and will take over from the present office holder, Mike Leddy, in May.

Under the council’s rules political parties take it in turns to choose a Lord Mayor from their ranks.

Cllr Shah, who has represented Bordesley Green since 2005, was tipped as the red hot favourite to win.

Cllr Atwal, who has represented Handsworth Wood since 2004, also stood for the coveted position last year but lost out to Cllr Leddy.

Cllr Shah will become only the third Asian Lord Mayor of Birmingham in more than 100 years.

Cllr Atwal would have become the city’s first Sikh Lord Mayor if he had succeeded in the ballot..

Council leader Sir Albert Bore may have reasons for wanting to know the precise level of support for the two contenders.

Cllr Shah is a close associate of Cllr John Clancy who is expected to challenge Sir Albert for leadership of the Labour group and the council in May. He can expect his mayoral bid to have been backed by a ‘block vote’ of Clancy-supporting Labour councillors.

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