Ian Ward remains Birmingham City Council Leader ©Getty Images

Ian Ward has retained his position as Birmingham City Council Leader after a challenge mounted by Waseem Zaffar failed to garner enough votes.

It leaves Ward set to remain in charge of the City Council when Birmingham hosts the Commonwealth Games later this year.

Labour retained control of Birmingham City Council earlier this month, re-installing Ward as head of the local authority.

However, Zaffar, a Cabinet member for transport and the environment, challenged Ward for the leadership.

Liz Clements also joined the race, but was eliminated first in today's vote.

All 65 Labour councillors were able to vote.

Thirty-one initially voted for Ward, 28 for Zaffar and six for Clements.

Once Clements' ballots were allocated to their second preference, Ward was up to the winning number of 33.

Ward is a member of the Birmingham 2022 Board of Directors.

Ward spearheaded the English city's bid to host this year's Commonwealth Games when it was the sole candidate to replace Durban in South Africa, which withdrew in 2017.

A councillor for Shard End since 1995, Ward and was elected as Council Leader in 2017.

Ward is now set to remain in the role for another four years.

The Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony is on July 28, with the multi-sport event due to run until August 8.

It will be the largest sporting event England has held since the London 2012 Olympics, and Birmingham's first time staging the Commonwealth Games.