Amongst an avalanche of coverage for all things elected mayoral this morning from The Times to Radio WM, Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham broke cover to declare that he is more than prepared to run for mayor – but only of the West Midlands.
He told BBC local radio that if there was a role of ‘Metro Mayor’ covering not just Birmingham but much of the West Midlands, then he would “consult with the unemployed, the ethnic community and the wealthy” to put together a mayoral bid.
In so doing, Digby has managed to ride two horses at the same time.
He has simultaneously kept alive the hopes of his cheerleaders – mostly within the Colmore Row business community - while completely ruling out his participation in the current elected mayor contest.
The Metro Mayor model, while favoured by many campaigners, is simply not an option on the table. Many believe and hope that the Birmingham elected mayor may in time pave the way to the larger role, but nobody expects to get there anytime soon.
By hinting at a bid, Digby is keeping his name on the lips of all who talk about an elected mayor for Birmingham and the future of the city.
Digby likes to be the centre of attention in his home town, but I wonder how long he can maintain his precipitous position on the fence before he falls off?