Birmingham City Council’s leader Sir Albert Bore (Lab) is set to step down.
In a statement, Sir Albert indicated rumours about how long he was likely to remain leader was the reason behind his decision.
He said: “As leader, for some years now, the people of Birmingham have always come first. I’ve had a vision for Birmingham and I want to ensure someone else is in place to see through the work that I’ve started.
“What we also need at the moment is some stability rather than the distraction within the council and the media of how long I might remain as leader. This is drawing attention away from the work that the city council needs to drive forward.”
Last week, the Birmingham Mail reported how a member of the city council’s cabinet James McKay (Lab) had stood down after criticising Sir Albert’s leadership.
A leadership election process has now been started, Sir Albert said.
He added: “A new leader needs to be in place to so as to allow me to step aside as leader of the council in December.
“Between now and then this will be a transition period, but the essential work of the council will not be interrupted.”
Sir Albert’s decision comes at a time when the city council is having to deal with a wide-range of issues.
The local authority is being scrutinised by an independent improvement panel. That was set up following Lord Kerslake’s critical review of the council in the wake of last year’s ‘Trojan Horse’ investigation.
The council also needs to find £253m savings between 2015-16 and 2017-18.
Birmingham is also heavily involved in negotiations over a devolution deal for the West Midlands.
Sir Albert said all those issues were “crucial for the future prosperity and economic security of the city”.
Sir Albert said it had been “an honour and a privilege” to have been Birmingham’s leader.