Peace has broken out between the leader of Birmingham City Council and the Respect party.
Mike Whitby said Salma Yaqoob had every right to ask questions about the ethnic make-up of the council leader-ship and that freedom of speech was paramount.
The council leader's remarks were in stark contrast to a bitter row at the June council meeting, when Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) accused newly-elected Coun Yaqoob (Respect Sparkbrook) of making "cheap and narrow-minded observations".
Coun Yaqoob had pointed out that all cabinet and scrutiny committee chairmen were "white, middle class and mostly male" and asked Coun Whitby what he was going to do to address the imbalance. Coun Whitby responded by suggesting that she was "stirring up misunderstandings", being divisive and she might like to represent Oldham or Burnley instead of Birmingham.
Tensions were eased at yesterday's full council meeting after Coun Yaqoob said she had accepted an apology from Coun Whitby who now accepted it was perfectly proper for her to raise questions about representation of black and minority ethnic communities on the council. She had also had a "pleasant" meeting with Coun Alan Rudge (Con Sutton Vesey), the cabinet member for equalities and human resources.
She urged Coun Whitby, in the light of Birmingham's progress towards becoming a majority ethnic city, to set a timetable to secure fairer representation at cabinet and scrutiny committee level.
Coun Whitby said: "There has been a dialogue between myself and Coun Yaqoob. I am so pleased there is agreement about driving forward the agenda on cultural diversity."