And so they gathered at the appointed hour and in the appointed place, but they dared not shoot him down.
Fairly predictably, Mike Whitby saw off the challenge from Randal's vandals. The scale of his victory is currently unclear, but it seems that the Conservatives currently attempting to run Birmingham City Council couldn't screw their courage to the sticking place sufficient to stab Whitless in the back. Not even the temptation of greater backbench involvement and a shameless attempt to gain votes by threatening the jobs of 3000 council employees.
At least we'll have Mike to kick around for a while longer.
The Stirrer is reporting that it was close - 24 Whitby, 22 Brew, 2 absent and 1 abstention - not quite the resounding victory claimed by 'sources close to the leader' in a piece by Paul Dale. What that actually means is that Whitby does not command majority support within the Tory group. I never thought that he was really in danger of losing this year - the campaign seemed too last minute and insufficiently organised, but next year could be a different story.
This is a serious shot across the bows for Whitby and his behaviour. If he doesn't change his leadership style, I predict that he may face eviction from the leadership of his group next year.