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Public hustings for Birmingham Labour leader confirmed

Public hustings for Birmingham Labour leader confirmed

🕔12.Nov 2015

Chamberlain Files publisher RJF Public Affairs and the Birmingham Mail have reached agreement with the regional Labour party to stage a public hustings event for the leadership of Birmingham’s Labour Group, writes Kevin Johnson.  

The event will take place in the Justham Auditorium of the CBSO Centre in Berkley Street, Birmingham city centre next Thursday, 19th November from 6.00pm.

The public will have their chance to grill the candidates to take over as Birmingham City Council’s next leader. It will be a rare opportunity to quiz the five councillors on their plans for the city.

Voting for the new Labour Group leader will take place on 23rd November. They will be installed as leader of Birmingham city council on 1st December when Sir Albert Bore formally steps down.

Around 100 members of the public will be able to attend the hustings, with Labour Group councillors and members of the party from the city’s constituencies making up the rest of the audience.

Ticket booking will open tomorrow (Friday). Chamberlain Files and Birmingham Mail will announce details of how to book. The event will be free to attend, with a cash bar available at the CBSO Centre on arrival.

Questions for submission in advance of the event will be welcomed. The Mail and Files will reveal arrangements shortly.

As well as those able to attend the hustings in person, we will be looking to engage as many people as possible with the debate online and through social media.

It is hoped BBC regional news programmes will feature highlights from the debate.

Other organisations supporting the event include Birmingham Arts Partnership; voice of business, professional and financial services BPS Birmingham and satirical website Paradise Circus.

The event is one of two events officially endorsed by the Labour Party following an outcry over the perceived lack of public engagement and confusion over decisions made by the executive of the Labour Group on the Council. The party will also be holding a hustings event just for councillors and members on the day of the election. 

The hustings event on 19th November will be independently chaired and editorially controlled by the Files and Mail. Candidates will not be given advance notice of questions.

It is expected that the event, online activity and media coverage will give the debate maximum reach and ensure many more people beyond the Labour movement and political circles can engage with the prospective leaders.

More details of the event, including arrangements for booking and advance questions, will be revealed in the coming days.

Political tweeter @NewsinBrum is holding its own hustings event earlier in the same week.

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