Birmingham's Labour chief Sir Albert Bore has lived up to his reputation as a great survivor after comfortably seeing off the latest challenge to his leadership.
Labour councillors voted by 43 to nine in favour of him continuing as leader of the opposition for the next 12 months following a challenge from Coun John Clancy.
It was an overwhelming show of support for the Labour group leader following his best set of local election results in a decade.
Labour gained 14 seats last week becoming the largest party on the council, but five short of an over all majority - leaving the ruling Tory-Lib Dem coalition hanging on for another year.
Coun Clancy, who was part of a failed coup 2005, criticised the leadership for lacking ambition and claimed the party needs a fresh start after 12 years of Sir Albert’s leadership.
There was an even more emphatic 48 to three vote victory for deputy leader Ian Ward (Shard End) over rival Tony Kennedy (Sparkbrook).
Following his victory Sir Albert called for party unity. “I believe we are capable of great things, but only if we, as a group, are united in our opposition to the Tory-Lib Dem coalition here in Birmingham.
“We now have a real opportunity to make a difference this year but only if we act decisively and as one group.
"We will not rest on our laurels, but will continue to build on the successes of last week’s elections and will gain an outright majority on the Council next year, when we can start to put right some of the injustices carried out by this coalition.”
Coun Clancy (Quinton) echoed the call in his own statement, saying: “I wish Albert well over this next very important year. I hope and believe my challenge has helped us all focus even better on the challenges ahead.
"And, even more united, we can kick the woeful Tories and Liberals out of power in Birmingham as soon as possible and keep them out for a generation.”
The Labour group are believed to have ruled out a bid for minority control of the council. One group member said: “We are not ready to take control yet.
"The Tory-Lib Dem Government has imposed massive cuts on Birmingham, we think their group should take the credit for imposing them this year.”
The Liberal Democrats, who lost seven council seats last week, re-selected Paul Tilsley and Roger Harmer as leader and deputy leader at their annual meeting.
The Conservative group meets tonight (Monday) when Mike Whitby is expected to be appointed leader, and therefore leader of the council for the next 12 months.
Coun Robert Alden (Erdington) is expected to be appointed deputy leader of the Tory group replacing Philip Parkin (Sutton Trinity) who stood down last week.