Campaigners against a directly-elected mayor for Birmingham have compared the battle to stop a mayor being created to the battle against Hitler.

In a leaflet setting out the case against an elected mayor, they declare: “Brummies have always fought back against dictators!”

Accompanying the text is a scene from the blitz, when German bombers devastated many of Britain’s major cities during World War II.

As a major industrial city, Birmingham suffered he third heaviest bombing during the war, behind London and Liverpool, and 2,241 people were killed.

The leaflet shows the aftermath of a bombing raid on Barford Street, Digbeth, as police officers, wardens and members of the public stand in front of the rubble of a destroyed building.

It was published by the Birmingham Campaign Against an Elected Mayor, which is led by MPs John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley) and Roger Godsiff (Lab Hall Green), and councillor James Hutchings (Con Edgbaston).

They are urging Birmingham voters to reject proposals for a directly-elected mayor in a referendum to be held on May 3.

The back of the leaflet sets out arguments against a mayor, including the claim that an elected mayor “concentrates political power in the hands of one individual who would rule as a dictator.”

It also warns that “councillors would have hardly any power to help you”.

The text continues with a warning that it would be impossible to remove an incompetent mayor before their four-year term of office was up, they they would be able to pay themselves £200,000 a year and that they would apppoint deputy mayors, who would also receive high salaries.

It also warns that a mayor would travel the word, adding: “You can guarantee it won’t be economy class - and Brummies will pay the bills!”

The message follows the launch of the “no” campaign’s website, at