Sir Albert Bore announces his resignation as Birmingham council leader
Sir Albert Bore’s long career at the head of Birmingham city council is over.
He is to stand down as leader in December after it became clear he had lost the support of most cabinet colleagues and backbenchers.
The official announcement came after a day of drama which saw Sir Albert address his cabinet from Brussels via a conferencing link. But he was unable to lobby support.
The final straw may have been the refusal of deputy council leader Ian Ward to back his boss.
Looming behind his resignation is the pending letter from the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel to Local Government Secretary Greg Clark which is likely to be critical of the council’s slow progress in implementing the Kerslake Review governance reforms.
His departure will trigger a highly unpredictable battle in the Labour group to elect a new council leader. Cllr Ward will fancy his chances but will face opposition from backbencher John Clancy.
In a statement, Sir Albert, who has twice led the council since 1999, said:
For some time now I have been considering how to put in place a succession strategy for the Leadership of the City Council. As Leader, for some years now, the people of Birmingham have always come first. I’ve had a vision for Birmingham and I want to ensure someone else is in place to see through the work that I’ve started.
What we also need at the moment is some stability rather than the distraction within the Council and the media of how long I might remain as Leader. This is drawing attention away from the work that the City Council needs to drive forward.
There are several essential items on our agenda for Birmingham at the moment, including the work of the Independent Improvement Panel, the delivery of a Combined Authority and a Devolution Deal with Government, and an agreement on budget parameters which will be necessary to take this Council through to 2020. These projects are crucial for the future prosperity and economic security of the city.
A new voice will see Birmingham through the next period in its history. So it is right for me to step back and take on a different role.
I have asked the Labour Party to now think about an election process for a new Labour Group Leader. A new Leader needs to be in place to so as to allow me to step aside as Leader of the Council in December. Between now and then this will be a transition period, but the essential work of the Council will not be interrupted.
It has been an honour and a privilege to be the Leader of Birmingham City Council. I am sure that one of my Labour colleagues, in becoming the new Leader of the City Council, will continue to bring vision and passion to the job that will deliver both prosperity for the city and a successful future for all its residents and businesses.
Cllr Ward said:
Sir Albert Bore has made a huge contribution to Birmingham. His drive, enthusiasm and commitment have changed the shape of the city to the benefit of Birmingham citizens. He has been an inspirational leader.
I have worked closely with him for over 15 years and have learnt a great deal from his selfless dedication to public service. I owe him a great debt of gratitude.
He has always put Birmingham and its people first and whilst I personally am sad that he will be stepping down as Leader of the Council, it is typical of Albert that he has reached this decision by placing the interests of the city ahead of himself.
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