John Clancy has resigned as Birmingham City Council’s leader with immediate effect.
There was speculation he was due to face calls for resignation from Labour councillors and a possible vote of no confidence this evening following his involvement in the city’s long-running bin strike saga.
Cllr Clancy, who has been Birmingham’s leader since December 2015, said: “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.”
In the emails, obtained by respected local blog The Chamberlain Files, Birmingham’s interim chief executive Stella Manzie is reported to have warned Cllr Clancy that the deal he agreed with Unite to end the bin strike could lead to “major financial risk to the authority, breach of the Equality Act as well as trade union and workforce unrest”.
Cllr Clancy said: “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.”
Cllr Clancy’s resignation comes on the same day communities secretary Sajid Javid has written to the chair of Birmingham’s government appointed improvement panel to request an “urgent update” following recent “significant developments”. Earlier this month the panel praised the working relationship between Ms Manzie and Cllr Clancy and recommended that communities secretary Sajid Javid should ask them to step aside.