John Clancy, leader of the city’s council, has handed in a letter of resignation following the ongoing dispute with refuse workers.
The councillor, who had been leader since December 2015, was getting calls for his resignation from Unite union, who claimed Mr Clancy had backed out of an agreed deal, triggering a return to the picket lines for the refuse workers.
The bin dispute, which began on 30th June, was suspended mid-August when a deal was struck. A meeting was scheduled for the beginning of the September, but Mr Clancy, according to Unite, pulled out of the arrangement.
Mr Clancy denied any such agreement was made.
Mr Clancy said that he “take[s] full responsibility” for his mistakes, outlining some the successes the city has seen during his time.
Here is the full letter from the Labour politician:
“It has become clear to me that frenzied media speculation about the Birmingham waste dispute is beginning to harm Birmingham City Council and the Birmingham Labour Party. I can see no end to such speculation, as ill-informed as much of it is, for as long as I remain Leader.
“I have therefore decided to resign both as Leader of the Labour group and as the Leader of Birmingham City Council with immediate effect.
“I would wish to stress that the actions I took along with my cabinet to negotiate an end to an extremely complex and difficult industrial dispute were done with the best of intentions.
“None of us are perfect, and I made some mistakes, for which I am sorry and take full responsibility.
“I am honoured to have been Leader of the council since December 2015 and proud of the many achievements during my time in charge.
“These include issuing the first £45 million ‘Brummie Bond’ for local housing, and two other initiatives that generated substantial savings for the council – renegotiating the ICT joint venture agreement with Capita, and reaching agreement to reduce the council’s annual payments to the West Midlands Local Government Pension Fund.
“Events in my personal life during this year have convinced me that there are issues of far more importance than Birmingham City Council, and although this has been said by politicians many times before, on this occasion I really am looking forward to spending more time with my family.”