Cameron promises support for British city to stage 2026 Commonwealth Games

Newly re-elected Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has promised to continue with his manifesto pledge for the city to bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

However Liverpool may face opposition from another English city, Birmingham, where there is growing support for them to launch a campaign.

Anderson, re-elected on May 5, had pledged before the election to seriously investigate whether the city should put itself forward and had written to British Culture Secretary John Whittingdale to seek his support.

Anderson claimed hosting the Commonwealth Games could have the same positive impact on Liverpool as it did on neighbours Manchester in 2002 and Glasgow in 2014.

He claimed there was widespread backing for his idea.

 “I’m working with other city region leaders and they are delighted with this," said Anderson.

Birmingham, however, is also seriously considering launching a bid.

The idea has been backed by one of the city's influential MPs, Liam Byrne, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

I think it’s a great idea," he told the Birmingham Mail

“I think we could do it brilliantly and cost effectively.

“We have the stadium infrastructure in place already, and we’re also already one of the big visitor economies.

"Let’s put Birmingham on the global map in a big way.

"That’s what we need to be doing.”

Mark Lewis-Francis, winner of an Olympic gold medal at Athens 2004 when he was a member of the 4x100 metres team, and four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds, who are both from the city, have also come out in support of a potential bid.

Wales is also considering a bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, using facilities in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised that the Government will support whichever British city bids. 

“The Government, we will be encouraging people because we are big enthusiasts for the Commonwealth Games," he told the Birmingham Mail. 

"We know these sporting events can be transformational for cities.

“But it is up to the cities themselves to decide who wants to come forward and then obviously the British Government has the opportunity to get behind a bid."

Edmonton in Canada and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea are also currently considering whether to bid for the 2026 Games. 

The Commonwealth Games Federation is expected to choose a host city at its General Assembly in 2019. 

The next edition of the 2018 Commonwealth Games is due to take place in the Gold Coast and the 2022 event is scheduled to be held in Durban in South Africa.