Barrister and former Birmingham City Council manager Mirza Ahmad has announced he could stand as an independent candidate for Birmingham mayor if city residents vote to create one in May’s referendum.
Dr Ahmad, the council’s former Corporate Director of Governance, said he would “encourage people to vote for change from the current stale party political system that is totally out if touch with people”.
He claimed it was too soon formally to announce he would be a candidate, because it depended on the results of a referendum on May 3 when Birmingham voters will decide whether to create a directly-elected mayor or not.
But in an article for blog The Chamberlain Files, he said: “I have had lots of positive feedback and been encouraged to stand as there needs to be a ‘credible alternative’ to the current usual suspects from the ‘old’ and out of touch political parties.
“It all depends, therefore, if Birmingham elects to have an elected mayor, and as previously declared, I hope the electorate see the advantages of having one running Birmingham.”
Setting out what he called the “guiding principles” he would follow if elected, he said he would work with local groups to “cultivate a strong sense of community pride in Birmingham by celebrating and valuing what each community brings to make a Birmingham better.”
Dr Ahmad also said: “I will promote economic prosperity to drive Birmingham’s local and region economies by ensuring Birmingham becomes a strong international city and ensure public funds are maximised for best effect to support the local and regional economic prosperity that will be necessary to drive the other improvements in public/private infrastructure, regenerate local areas and improve the lives of local people.”
Dr Ahmad left the city council last year after his £115,000-a-year job was scrapped.
His role as Corporate Director of Governance disappeared after the local authority saved £1.4 million in a restructure. Previously he had been chief Legal Officer, heading a team of 80 lawyers.
He currently works as a barrister and has a private practice from St Philips Chambers, in the city centre.