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Peerage for former Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby

Mike Whitby to become Lord Whitby after David Cameron picks him to become a Tory peer

Mike Whitby is to be made a Conservative peer

The former leader of Birmingham City Council has vowed to continue fighting for the city after he was awarded a seat in the House of Lords.

Mike Whitby - soon to be Lord Whitby - is to be a Conservative peer, Downing Street has announced.

And he said he would use his new position to highlight the contribution Britain’s great cities, and particularly Birmingham, can make to the country.

Coun Whitby said: “I will still be a servant of this city.

“From the House of Lords, I want to be a friend of everyone who positively believes in this great city.

“Birmingham can play a major part in the economic growth of the nation. I firmly and positively believe that the debate in the UK has to be about the great cities other than London.

“We know that London naturally lays a central role but the UK is not a one stop shop.”

He added: “The Prime Minister told me he wanted someone in Parliament that had run a great city.

“My political philosophy is that I believe in social mobility and a meritocratic society and Birmingham throughout its history has been a city that has always given people opportunities.”

Coun Whitby was leader of Birmingham City council from 2004 to 2012. He was involved in a number of major infrastructure projects including the new city library and redevelopment of New Street station.

He was one of a number of “working peers” named by the Queen on the recommendation of party leaders.

David Cameron and Anthony Bamford at the opening of a JCB factory in Brazil
David Cameron and Anthony Bamford at the opening of a JCB factory in Brazil
 

Other new Conservative peers include Sir Anthony Bamford, chairman and managing director of Staffordshire-based manufacturing firm JCB.

Sir Anthony has given around £100,000 personally to the Conservatives  in the last few years, with more sums donated by his company.

But a Tory source described Sir Anthony as a “leading industrialist who has made a massive contribution to British business”.

New Labour peers include Doreen Lawrence, mother Stephen Lawrence, the teenager murdered in London in 1993.

Lib Dem peers include James Palumbo,co-founder and chairman of Ministry of Sound Group, the international music and entertainment business.

In total, 30 new members of the House of Lords were named, including 14 Conservatives, 10 Liberal Democrats and five Labour nominees, as well as one Green - London Assembly member and former deputy mayor Jenny Jones.

 

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