A former Lord Mayor has become the fourth Labour politician to enter the race to become the next Birmingham City Council leader promising to be a "safe pair of hands" and not bankrupt the authority with "airy fairy" policies.
Veteran councillor Mike Leddy, member for Brandwood, is also a former cabinet member for transport and served as Labour chief whip during more than 20 years on the city council.
In a statement to colleagues, he claims to be the unity candidate who can ensure the council remains under Labour control and keep the threat of government intervention at bay.
Birmingham's 78 Labour councillors are due to meet on November 23 to choose the successor to Sir Albert Bore who resigned the leadership two weeks ago after losing the confidence of senior colleagues.
He faces a battle with:
Coun Leddy, who was formerly a senior manager at engineering firm Lucas, is pitching his bid between that of John Clancy, who has been a long term rival of Sir Albert's and come out with a series of bold policy pledges, and Coun Ward who was Sir Albert's deputy for a decade.
In a swipe at his rivals, Coun Leddy said: "I am not, nor have I ever been, anyone's stooge or candidate. I am my own person, with my own ideas. I am first and foremost a man manager, a people person, with ideas."
And in a dig at Coun Clancy's more radical agenda, he warns that a government-appointed improvement panel, currently overseeing the council, needs to see steady leadership or the council risks being taken over.
"It's no use putting forward ideas if we aren't in a position to implement them, that's just compiling a wish list.
"Ideas today need to be cost neutral or cost effective, not airy fairy ideas that won't stack up to financial scrutiny or can't be undertaken because they are unorthodox or illegal."
In common with the other candidates, he takes on the issue that Sir Albert was too remote and dictatorial by promising a more collaborative approach to leadership.
With the deadline for nominations still two weeks away, more candidates could enter the race.