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WHITBY TAKES THE MICHAEL OUT OF MAYOR

09-02-2010

Not for the first time, Mike Whitby’s desire for the limelight appears to have eclipsed Birmingham’s Lord Mayor, with the Council leader taking centre stage during last week’s celebrations at the ICC to mark the 60th anniversary of the Republic of India.

It was a splendid affair, with no end of bigwigs in attendance including the High Commissioner of India and the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands.

Cllr Mick Wilkes was also there in his mayoral chain, and custom and protocol dictates that he takes precedence at any civic event.

Not this time, though. The Stirrer’s spies tell us that Cllr Whitby appeared on stage, made a speech, and gave presentations at both the beginning and end of the event – leaving poor old Mick with nothing to do.

A similar pattern was observed last year, when Whitby frequently upstaged the genial Randal Brew, who later plotted his revenge by forcing a leadership battle among the ruling Conservatives.

Liberal Democrat Mick Wilkes is unlikely to pose such a threat, but his supporters note the irony that while Whitby is vehemently opposed to the idea of a directly elected mayor, he seems desperately keen to act like an appointed one.

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