Birmingham has been ruled out as a replacement venue for the 2026 Commonwealth Games by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.
He was commenting after it emerged that the State of Victoria in Australia backed out of hosting the 2026 games and Alberta in Canada has been ruled out as the 2030 host.
Asked if Birmingham could step in, he told GB News: “So the interesting phrase is that word in that question, is ‘could’ – of course we could, a brilliant job was done across Birmingham and the West Midlands last year.
“And we’ve seen all the figures around inward investment, the brand of Birmingham around the world being enhanced. Should we? My answer at the moment is no.
“What the Commonwealth Games needs for its long term success is for an Australian state to step forward, a Canadian state to step forward and it wouldn’t be quite the same if it was just in one location. As much as we in a sense would love to do it again, it’s not yet the right answer.”
In a discussion with Camilla Tominey, he also called on the Government to reduce Corporation Tax eventually: “Corporation Tax, I would like to see it come down over time, but let’s be honest, the Government has got to manage its finances as well.
“We were at about 19%. That was very competitive within the G7. If we could get back to that, that very competitive position – the Government has been really clear they want to get back to that when the public finances allow.
“We can’t deny that we’re in a particularly difficult position and good sound finance is a Conservative principle.”
He also said that the Covid pandemic had hampered the efforts with levelling up: “We were closing that gap but actually the pandemic has pushed our performance backwards.
“It makes this agenda even more important and actually…what this government under Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have done, they are investing billions in areas outside of the south-east.
“If I look at our experience, a billion pounds for transport investments, huge money for developing skills, huge amounts of money now, and recently a half a billion pounds more for building affordable homes.
“So that cash is being put on the table by the Government and what people on the ground want to see is actual delivery.”