city-gavin-warrinsPhotograph: Gavin Warrins

A week after publishing Second city first: Birmingham trounces its rivals, Henry Mance and Andrew Bounds of the FT back this claim by citing the city’s hosting of the Conservative party conference starting on Sunday.

Other glories:

  • Theresa May launched her leadership campaign in Birmingham in July.
  • Her key adviser, Nick Timothy, has called for a focus on ordinary people, which he calls “Erdington modernisation” after the area of Birmingham where he grew up.
  • Sajid Javid, MP for Bromsgrove, ‘a Birmingham satellite town’, extols the Midlands as the home of William Shakespeare, of Charles Darwin, of Isaac Newton [and] Margaret Thatcher.”
  • It may also become the only new metropolitan region to elect a Conservative mayor, Andy Street, currently managing director of John Lewis.
  • It ‘claims’ to be the only part of the UK to run a trade surplus with China, thanks largely to Jaguar Land Rover.
  • On Friday it will ‘indicate its ambition’ by announcing plans to bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026.

Will the city’s popularity survive the demonstrations at the Conservative Party conference, planned by a range of less satisfied citizens?