Coffee House

Byrne for Birmingham?

29 March 2012

6:14 PM

29 March 2012

6:14 PM

Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet could soon lack a Liam Byrne. The shadow
work and pensions secretary is expected to announce his intention to run for the position of Mayor of Birmingham — and he’d quit
his frontbench job to do so. There is, of course, one significant ‘if’ hanging over his candidacy: it would depend on Birmingham voting in favour of having an elected mayor in their referendum on 3 May. But given the polls so far, it’s all looking quite likely.

If Byrne does go, it would leave more than just a single role for Miliband to fill. He is not just the shadow work and pensions secretary, but also the man in charge of Labour’s ongoing,
interminable policy review. And, perhaps more importantly, he is also one of the few Labour figures who naturally understand the necessity for cuts. In government, Byrne did a good deal of work to identify where cuts could be made. And he was relatively upfront about the process too, in ways that went beyond that infamous note.

Byrne’s departure could also ignite some good ol’ Labour backbiting and infighting. Some of his colleagues will surely ask why he’s leaving Project Miliband at this stage; whether it goes deeper
than the Mayor thing. And that’s before we consider a contest to be Labour’s candidate that could also involve Gisela Stuart and Sion
Simon. Whoever said local politics was dull?

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Show comments
  • TomTom

    Peter from Maidstone, BBirmingham as you well know had Electoral Fraud and the Judge slammed it so the Returning Officer/Chief Executive resigned. Her name ? LIN HOMER – who became Head of the UK Border Agency and is now Head of HMRC…..she is well in with Brown and Cameron

  • Peter From Maidstone

    What are the demographics in Birmingham like? Would they allow for a postal vote fraud bringing in an immigrant/Islam supporting front man?

  • TomTom

    So George Galloway on a 37% swing is MP for Bradford West and that makes the idea of an elected mayor on 3 May much more interesting !

  • David Lindsay

    Oh, and the Coalition’s Stephen Byers transport policy. I knew there was something.

    Without these things, Chris lancashire, the only party that is now in that happy position is permanently somewhere between eight and 17 per cent ahead in the polls, has won five by-elections in a row and never lost one (if it loses one tonight, then it will be to the decidedly non-Cameroon George Galloway), and so on.

  • Chris lancashire

    David Lindsay: sounds to me when you deduct that lot you’re left with Balls’ economic policy. Best start another party perhaps.

  • Bill Brinsmead

    Dissembling and dishonest Liam Byrne is a disgrace to public life. He should return to the consultancy world where he belongs.

    Sion Simon, sort of Liam lite & late of this parish, will also be seeking the Labour nomination for Mayor.

  • Michael

    And if he gets in, he’ll run it until there is no money left.

  • Noa.

    Can they afford him?

    Has Birmingham any money left?

  • David Lindsay

    Elected mayors, like elected Police Commissioners, are wholly out of keeping with this country’s parliamentary, rather than presidential, res publica.

    But any Blairite scalp is welcome. Time to bring in someone who will oppose the Coalition’s Tony Blair tax and foreign policies, Alan Milburn health policy, Andrew Adonis education policy, Peter Mandelson marriage policy, and James Purnell welfare and employment policies.