John Cotton defends his selection as new Birmingham City Council leader

The new leader of Birmingham City Council defends his selection after he replaced the former leader of the labour-run council, Ian Ward.

After an interview process with Labour's ruling NEC (National Executive Committee), the party selected Cllr John Cotton for the position on Sunday (21 May).

He was appointed by a Labour Part edict from London and not a Birmingham election.

However, Cllr Cotton was elected by a vote in Birmingham on Tuesday (23 May).

Until now he held the position of Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities.

In one of his first days as the leader of the council, Birmingham City Council's social housing is criticised by an independent report.

Thousands of council tenants in Birmingham may be at risk of serious harm because of issues with asbestos, electrical safety and fire risk assessments, according to the Regulator of Social Housing.

In response to the report Cllr John Cotton said: "We are in the teeth of a national housing crisis that has been created by Government, let's be absolutely clear about that.

"There is not a local authority area in this country where there are not serious issues around housing and around homelessness.

"So that is the context where we have tried to deal with some serious issues here in Birmingham and we will absolutely respond to the recommendations that are sat in that social housing regulator report and will be engaging with that regulator to take the steps that we need to take within the council."