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Clancy ready for big day, but it’s odds-on another Bore victory

Clancy ready for big day, but it’s odds-on another Bore victory

🕔09.May 2013

horseThis Saturday 77 Birmingham city councillors will gather to elect their leader for the next year.

It will probably be, almost certainly will be, another victory for Sir Albert Bore who has held the position since May 1999 and shows no sign of copying Sir Alex Ferguson by dramatically retiring.

Although in Sir Albert’s case he’d hardly be standing down proudly admiring Birmingham at the top of the local government league table on most measures you care to name, but that’s another story

Bore is facing a sole challenger in Quinton councillor John Clancy, who last put his hat in the leadership ring two years ago and lost by a pitiful seven votes to 43 for Sir Albert.

Outwardly, Sir Albert is treating the latest challenge to his position in much the same way as all of the other many and varied attempts to topple him. That is to say, magnificently refusing even to recognise that he is in any difficulty whatsoever while privately dismissing Clancy’s challenge as an unnecessary diversion.

He has not, as far as I am aware, issued any public statement about the leadership issue. The only thing that he has done is let it be known he will be standing down in November as chairman of University Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, thereby implicitly accepting the criticism of Clancy supporters that running Birmingham is a big enough job on its own.

It is interesting to note that the annual leadership election is not the first item on the agenda for Saturday’s meeting. It is instead placed some way down the timetable almost as if to suggest that the matter is of no real consequence.

Political nerds may like to focus at this stage on the fact that Labour councillors do not actually have the final say on who the leader of Birmingham City Council should be. That was agreed in May 2012, with Sir Albert being chosen for a four year period under the provisions of the Local Government Act.

Should Cllr Clancy be elected leader of the Labour group, he will not become council leader on May 11. Sir Albert would have to stand down voluntarily at the annual council meeting on May 21 and all 120 councillors would then be invited to vote for a new leader.

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