On Tuesday May 22nd at 4pm Councillor John Lines is due to be appointed as Birmingham's Lord Mayor.1 As the First Citizen of Birmingham, the Lord Mayor is supposed to represent not only the City, but also the people of Birmingham. Yet Lines is entirely unfit to perform such a function. He has repeatedly revealed himself to have racist views, whose attitudes and behaviour are entirely out of step with the values of a cosmopolitan 21st century City like Birmingham.
His appointment as Lord Mayor will turn the City into a laughing stock.
Brass-necking Lines has scapegoated Asylum Seekers, blaming them for the City's housing crisis (which he created himself). He has also lied and misled people about the struggles faced by many newcomers to Birmingham. He has called Asylum Seekers "scumbags" and "scallywags" who are "not his people".2
Lines has also been convicted twice for acts of violence. Celebrating in a pub after winning an election he was irate when staff wouldn't serve him after hours and waited for the barman to come out, punching him in the face three times. Prior to that, he was convicted for beating his neighbour's son-in-law with a plank of wood and throttling him.3
The people of Birmingham need to make it plain that we are not “his people”; that we have no wish to be represented either nationally or
internationally by a violent, self-serving ignoramus as Mayor.
Back in 2001, Lines was nominated for Lord Mayor by his party. For the first time in the Council's history this was overwhelmingly rejected by other Councillors.4
With this petition we are calling on Birmingham City Council, and it's Councillors, to once again deny his appointment as Lord Mayor. Furthermore, that he publicly apologises for his scapegoating of migrants and the misleading comments he has made about people seeking refugee status.