Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby has been accused of drawing up secret plans to sell the International Convention Centre, where his party is holding its annual conference this week.
Labour MP Jack Dromey (Erdington) has submitted a series of Freedom of Information requests to the city council, demanding it reveal whether it is negotiating to sell the ICC, NEC, Symphony Hall or its share in Birmingham Aiport.
It follows remarks by Coun Whitby, the Tory leader of the city council, which appeared to suggest the authority was negotiating with oil-rich Middle East investors about selling a share in the assets.
These include the ICC, where Conservative leader David Cameron will deliver his keynote speech to the party faithful on Wednesday.
Coun Whitby has since insisted there are no plans to sell Birmingham’s assets, although he said the authority would look at “how we access and lever in the private sector”.
But Mr Dromey said he believed the authority had already drawn up plans to sell the sites.
He said: “I suspect that Mike Whitby has had secret discussions with foreign companies and investors about buying Birmingham’s assets.
“He wants to sell Birmingham’s pride and joy, the product of municipal enterprise working in partnership with the private sector.
“Public investment in the NEC and ICC has generated immense benefits for Birmingham. Does Mike Whitby really want a Gulf state sheikh to buy up Birmingham’s greatest assets?
“The truth must be told and that is why I put down the freedom of information request.”
He has submitted requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act asking whether the authority has held any internal meetings to discuss The sale of the assets and whether it has held any meetings with potential investors, and asking for copies of all relevant documents.
Some Conservative councillors have backed the idea of selling the businesses, but there has been widespread criticism of Coun Whitby for talking about the plans in public.