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BRADY SHOWS HAND IN MAYORAL RACE

19-04-2007

Cripes! Here’s a scoop. The Birmingham Mail have persuaded Karren Brady to show her hand early by declaring that she’ll stand as mayor if there’s an election. The Blues Managing Director tells the paper today that she has no faith in the way the city is run.

To get the full story you’ll have to buy the Mail yourself but we’ve been leaked a copy of her article, and it’s typically aggressive, fearless stuff. Brady slates the city’s “tremulous, pothole-obsessed politicians” and calls for a united front to move the place forward.

If nothing else, her intervention is sure to crank up the pressure for a referendum. More than 35,000 signatures are needed from the public to force a vote on the issue, but our guess is that now she’s in the running, the petition will gain extra momentum.

Brady may still have some of the baggage from her early days at St Andrews when she was sometimes regarded as blunt to the point of rudeness, but she is also recognised as a shrewd operator in a tough business, and has unquestionably turned around BCFC’s commercial fortunes.

That business background would be a major asset for a candidate seeking to win tough negotiations with government, although it remains to be seen whether her lack of political experience would be a help or a hindrance.

Birmingham Council’s foolish decision to reject Blues supercasino and stadium plans undoubtedly gives her a handy stick with which to beat Whitby and Co, while her brain aneuryism last year allowed her to show a previously unseen tender side.

All in all, she’s popular with ordinary Brummies - even Villa fans - and she’s nobody’s fool. Her willingness to speak out might sometimes get her into trouble but is also endearing.

If there is a mayoral referendum, The Stirrer makes Brady a serious contender.

To get Karren’s explanation see today’s Birmingham Mail (which also has the weekly Stirrer column). Then tell us, would she make a good mayor for Birmingham? Leave a comment on our messageboard.

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