As we suggested might happen a few weeks ago, Liam Byrne will tomorrow throw his hat into the ring to be Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Birmingham. However he’s not resigning from the shadow cabinet (yet) – he’ll only leave his role as shadow DWP minister if there’s a “Yes” vote in the Birmingham Mayoral referendum. A Labour source told us:
“Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne will tomorrow formally announce his intention to become Labour Mayor of Birmingham.
“He has talked this over with Ed Miliband and agreed that if there was a yes vote in May, he would step down from the Shadow Cabinet to fight to become the first Labour mayor of Birmingham.”
News that Byrne is considering a run isn’t surprising. One Birmingham activist told us earlier this week that Byrne was “like Hamlet” agonising over the decision. We’re expecting a big announcement in the Birmingham Mail tomorrow. Whether or not he’s backed by any significant figures in Birmingham Labour Party (such as local MPs or council leader and candidate Albert Bore) could be key to the success of his candidacy.