A Birmingham MP has condemned proposals for an elected mayor in the city as a “gimmick” - and vowed to work with people from all parties to block the scheme.
Roger Godsiff (Lab Hall Green) claimed a mayor would leave local councillors powerless and concentrate authority in the hands of one person.
He issued a statement after it emerged that he had joined forces with Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley) to launch a campaign opposing a mayor.
Birmingham voters will be asked whether they want to introduce an elected mayor in a referendum taking place next May.
Supporters of the proposal, who include potential mayoral candidate Sion Simon, the former Labour MP, are planning to campaign for a “yes” vote in the poll.
But Mr Godsiff said: “Personally I am totally opposed to the idea of an elected Mayor for Birmingham because I do not believe that it will improve the governance of Birmingham, and it will dilute still further the role of elected councillors and will concentrate even more power, limited though these might be, in the hands of one individual.”
He added: “Elected mayors were a ‘trendy idea’ and some councils adopted them.
"Some of these councils, like Stoke, have since scrapped the idea while others, like Hartlepool, showed what they thought of the idea by electing a candidate who stood as a monkey to be mayor!
“What the people of Birmingham want is good governance by their elected councillors and not a gimmick which will eliminate still further the role of the elected councillor as is the case with the London Assembly which is virtually powerless.
“I will urge anybody who cares to listen to vote ‘No’ and I am quite prepared to work alongside similar minded people in other parties to defeat this proposal.”