Birmingham leader resigns over bins controversy

Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy has resigned following weeks of criticism over the authority’s handling of industrial action by refuse workers.

Clancy received a no-confidence motion from fellow Labour councillors after refuse workers resumed strike action on 1 September as a deal to suspend the strike action fell apart. The strike action began at the end of June and saw the city overrun with rubbish as workers strike against restructuring plans that threatened jobs.

Ian Ward, deputy leader of the council, will be acting leader until a new leader is in place.

Clancy 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. 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.”

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