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Page last updated at 22:20 GMT, Sunday, 5 October 2008 23:20 UK

Tories in Birmingham

Birmingham's beach
Chamberlain Square in Birmingham - now a beach.
Who are the two most powerful Conservatives in Britain? David Cameron and George Osborne? Wrong - they don't actually run anything.

The most powerful Conservative is surely Boris Johnson the mayor of London who last week flexed his muscles and forced the resignation of the Metropolitan Policy commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

The title of second most powerful Tory must surely go to Councillor Mike Whitby. Who he you might ask. Well if you live in Birmingham you'd know he's the leader of that city's council. He's running a coalition made up of his party and the Lib Dems.

Birmingham's most famous leader was Joseph Chamberlain who was elected mayor of the city as a radical Liberal and transformed the city with a programme of social reform.

Today's leader of the council describes himself in the same way that David Cameron does - as a Progressive Conservative.

John Beesley has been to Birmingham to examine the record of progressive Conservatism in Britain's second largest city.

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John Beesley reports from Birmingham




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