As foretold here only yesterday by Gypsy Rose Hemming - those new House of Commons tealeaves are awfully effective - the truth has come out about the election of the new Liberal Democrat leader in Birmingham. (I say 'leader', but I really mean 'Mike Whitby's poodle')
It was rumoured in the press last week that Paul Tilsley collected the support of 26 out of the 28 Liberal Democrat councillors - a resounding victory, by any standards. That may not have been the entire truth. as the press today has reported a slightly different story (spin from the Liberal Democrats - 'Never!' I hear you cry).
It seems that Paul only managed to find 14 councillors to support him, with 13 others backing Mick Wilkes. And what of the other councillor? S/He chose to abstain - a typical LD indecision. If there HAD been a draw, apparently the two candidates would have had to draw lots to see who won the £50K p.a. fee to be the next Tory stooge (a rise from the old days when betrayal was a mere 30 pieces of silver).
So, it seems that the council rumour mill was far more accurate than the media, until someone corrected the error. That champion of honesty will, like all good journalistic sources, remain nameless. It doesn't bode well for the future, given the apparent amount of opposition to Tilsley within the LD group. If he doesn't keep his friends on-side, then things could get interesting for him, especially with the run-up to the 2006 local elections.