Media advisor to contest as mayor of Birmingham

Sion Simon said he will quit as the Creative Industries minister to contest for the mayor of Birming

Simon, a journalist with the Daily Telegraph before getting elected to the Commons in 2001, currently oversees government policy towards the media industry. He was recently named in the MPs expenses scandal.

He told the BBC today that he will now campaign for Birmingham to hold a referendum on whether it should adopt an elected mayor and stand for the position.

"We have outdated 19th century municipal structures. I am putting myself forward and becoming the Labour candidate," he said.