A senior councillor has announced he will not stand to be the next leader of Birmingham City Council.
It was rumoured last week that Majid Mahmood, who chairs the authority's health scrutiny committee, was going to put himself forward as the replacement for Sir Albert Bore following his resignation.
But the Labour member for Hodge Hill has emailed colleagues to confirm he will not stand and instead has backed Coun John Clancy.
Coun Clancy, who challenged Sir Albert four times in the last year, is expected to launch his campaign tomorrow.
His main rival for the post is the current deputy leader Ian Ward who confirmed earlier today that he would be standing for election.
Coun Mahmood, who has previously supported Sir Albert Bore in leadership contests, said he had been approached by colleagues who wanted him to stand and now wanted to end the speculation.
He said: "I am a born and bred die hard Brummie and love this city. I do not believe it is in the interests of the party to have a long, drawn out contest to succeed Sir Albert Bore."
He added that it was important the council moved on and dealt with the Kerslake review and "draconian" cuts facing the council.
"The future of this city is bigger than all of us, we can't afford to fail," he said.
He called on the Labour group to back Coun Clancy, saying they had spoken about the manifesto being launched.
"The every child, every citizen, every place, every business vision and policy programme accords with my own ideas. I firmly believe this is the positive way forward for the Labour group in Birmingham, the Birmingham Labour party, and most of all the city," he said.
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"As you are all acutely aware Leadership requires an individual to lead, talk, and persuade others to share vision, ideas, policies and not sit on the sidelines waiting for something to happen."
Coun Mahmood, a solicitor, was first elected to the city council in 2011 and has been widely regarded as an ambitious and talented politician.
Earlier today, deputy leader Ian Ward announced his candidacy with a call to colleagues to help him develop policy and a pledge to involve the whole Labour group in decisions, something Sir Albert was routinely criticised for not doing.
The Labour group will elect the new leader at a private meeting on November 23.