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KHALID FOR MAYOR?

11-05-2007

Veteran Birmingham politician Hugh McCallion is casting his beady eye over the potential candidates in a Birmingham mayoral election. After Karren Brady and John Hemming, here’s his assessment of Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood.

Let me start this assessment by saying that I think the chances of Khalid Mahmood securing the Labour nomination to run for the position of Elected Mayor of Birmingham would be very slim indeed. However, if by some fluke he did get it and was elected, he would, in my opinion, not make a very good job of it.

Some of the comments I made about John Hemming apply equally to Khalid. He is a born meddler and, in my subjective judgement, he hasn’t got a unifying bone in his body.

He has caused discord in every ward of his constituency, some of it resulting in long-serving members leaving the Party. He has constantly meddled in the affairs of the Labour group and he is a hugely divisive figure within the Muslim community.

Khalid would face many other difficulties, not the least of which would be the consequences of his involvement in the infamous letter to Tony Blair calling on him to stand down.

At the time of 9/11, Keith Vaz was out of favour, and Khalid made all the right noises and was given great prominence by Number 10. He certainly milked that one until he began to fall from grace and that fall was total after the letter.

Feelings around that debacle ran so high that some of the powerful enemies he made then will be with him for the rest of his life. Not a good omen for an Elected Mayor.

I could of course go on at much greater length but I think I have probably said enough for now. I will have a lot more to say about Khalid, his acolytes and his antics in the main body of my memoirs - the “first drafts” of which will be serialised exclusively here on The Stirrer.

(To see Hugh's verdict on Karren Brady click here. And for his John Hemming verdict, click here).

Is Hugh’s assessment of Khalid Mahmood fair? Or would he make a good Mayor of Birmingham? Leave a comment on The Stirrer Forum.

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