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Nurse Paulette Hamilton Takes Erdington For Labour To Become Birmingham's First Black MP

Nurse Paulette Hamilton Takes Erdington For Labour To Become Birmingham's First Black MP
2 min read

Labour's candidate in the Erdington by-election, nurse Paulette Hamilton, has said she is "delighted" and that she was "pinching [herself]" after winning the Erdington by-election to become Birmingham's first Black MP.

Hamilton polled 9,413 votes, a majority of 3,266, beating the Conservative candidate Robert Alden who won 6,147 votes, as Labour increased its vote share. 

She said: "I never thought I'd be running to be an MP, but the fact that I am now not only the MP for Erdington but the first black woman - the first woman to ever get the position - I am delighted and I am still pinching myself."

Turnout was very low: 27%, compared to 50.3% in the 2019 general election.

The by-election was held after the death of MP Jack Dromey, 73, in January. He had held the seat since 2010.

Hamilton has revealed her father died just as campaigning started. She gave: "a special thank you to Keir 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."

A Labour spokesperson said: "In Paulette, the people of Birmingham Erdington have elected a great local champion.

"We're delighted that this campaign has seen the first black MP elected from a Birmingham constituency."

During the campaign there had been calls for Hamilton to have the whip suspended over comments she had made on increasing minority representation in 2015. 

For his part, the defeated Conservative candidate Robert Alden said the low turn out showed Labour was "not ready to govern". He said: "This is a seat that has been Labour over the last 85 years... the fact the majority is so small here today is really a damning indictment where the Labour party is nationally."

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