Labour’s Paulette Hamilton wins Birmingham Erdington by-election | Politics News

Labour has held Birmingham Erdington in the by-election triggered by the sudden death of frontbencher Jack Dromey.

Former nurse and mother-of-five Paulette Hamilton, 59, won with a majority of 3,266 but the by-election failed to inspire voters, with a turnout of just 27%.

She picked up 9,413 votes, ahead of Conservative candidate Robert Alden with 6,147.

Her victory makes her the first black MP elected from a Birmingham constituency.

Labour leader Keir Starmer in the campaign office during a visit to Erdington in Birmingham to support Labour's by-election candidate Paulette Hamilton and speak about the Respect pillar of his contract with the British people. Picture date: Wednesday February 16, 2022.
The newly elected MP campaigning with Sir Keir Starmer

Ms Hamilton, whose father died just as her campaign got under way, thanked her Labour colleagues for their support “through four storms” and her bereavement.

She said: “I’d also like to say a special thank you to Kier Starmer for his endless support – even when my dad died, they were there, they wrapped me in cotton wool, and they supported me, and my dad isn’t even buried yet but they were there when I was crying.”

Jack Dromey speaking in the House of Commons
Jack Dromey speaking in the House of Commons

Trade union stalwart Mr Dromey held the seat for Labour in 2019 with a majority of 3,601.

He was married to the former Labour cabinet minister and interim party leader Harriet Harman.

During tributes to Mr Dromey by MPs of all parties in the Commons on 2 February, Ms Harman spoke of “the total shock of his sudden death from heart failure” on 7 January.

Mr Dromey, who died in his Birmingham flat aged 73, was a lifelong trade unionist who rose to deputy general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, now part of the giant Unite union, in 2003.

He was treasurer of the Labour Party during the “cash for honours” allegations when Tony Blair was prime minister, and then became MP for Erdington at the 2010 general election.

Jack Dromey and Harriet Harman at the Houses of Parliament in 1982
Jack Dromey and Harriet Harman at the Houses of Parliament in 1982

He held a number of shadow ministerial posts, and as shadow immigration minister he spoke in a Commons debate on the problems facing Afghan immigrants to the UK on the day before his death.

A constituency in the northeast of Birmingham, Erdington has been held by Labour since it was created in 1974, although with just slim three-figure majorities in Margaret Thatcher’s election victories in 1979 and 1983.

One of 10 parliamentary constituencies in Birmingham, Erdington is also the seat in the city that voted Leave by the largest margin, 63% to 37%, in the 2016 European Union referendum.

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