Andy Street was at the centre of a Twitter storm this week after the Conservative West Midlands Mayor called out a young Tory activist for taking down Birmingham. Daniel Grainger, the chair of Young Conservatives Network insulted the city on arrival for the Conservative Conference, with Mr Street later defending his reaction during an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sky News.
Mr Street told Sky News: “Young conservative coming here with a conference described in history to Birmingham was, quote, unquote ‘a dump’.
“Now you might say, turn the other cheek. But there is a really important point about how perceptions of cities are.
“We have spent decades trying to rebuild the perception of this place. Think of the success of the Commonwealth Games this summer. Think of the international investment that comes in on the back of that.
“So my job is always to defend the brand the reputation of this city, and that’s why I took him to task on Twitter.”
On Sunday, the political blog site Guido Fawkes reported that Mr Grainger has had his Conservative Party membership suspended by CCHQ pending an investigation.
Mr Grainger had apologised and deleted the post – which had read: “Birmingham is a dump.” – claiming it “was not about the city” and that he had been the victim of a mugging attempt earlier on Saturday.
The city is hosting the Conservative Party’s annual conference this week.
In a later tweet, Mr Grainger wrote: “My tweet in relation to Birmingham was not about the city or its people. I’ve always enjoyed my visits to your city, but this morning I was greeted by an individual who threatened me with a mugging.
“I was angry and tweeted without thinking, I apologise for any offence caused.
“I’d also like to directly apologise to [Andy Street], the [Conservatives] and other representatives of Birmingham for my ill-conceived comments. I have now deleted the tweet.”
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