There are number of Councillors across the country who are standing to be MPs in the coming General Election. In Birmingham, I am standing in Edgbaston, Cllr Robert Alden (my son) in Erdington, and Cllr Nigel Dawkins in Selly Oak. There are some on the other parties’ benches in Birmingham too who will be contesting local seats.
However this morning we hear the bizarre news that the the Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington, Sion Simon, (he of the notorious You Tube video) is standing down at the General Election, but hopes to find a Birmingham Council seat to fight instead!
His arguments for standing down at the election, as explained in his interview on Radio WM this morning are that he really wants an elected mayor in Birmingham, wants to campaign for that to happen, and hopes to be the Labour Candidate if there is such a contest. (I can think of one or two others in the Birmingham Labour Party who might not be too pleased about that as they might be eyeing such a position for themselves!)
Sion could of course have course have campaigned for a mayor while he was an MP, and then (if Birmingham people want an elected mayor which they didn’t when the Birmingham Mail tried to drum up support for a petition and got nowhere near the number of signatures required) he could have campaigned to be the candidate too, all while still an MP. That’s what Boris did in London and was very successful.
Sion certainly doesn’t need to be a Councillor to campaign for an elected mayor for Birmingham, or to be the mayoral candidate. But it will be interesting to see if he gets Council a seat to fight.