By Erdington Local election news team
The upcoming by-election to decide who will be Erdington’s next Member of Parliament has been set for Thursday, 3 March.
A tweet made by the Labour Party whips office on Monday, 31 January, stated:
“First item of business today in @HouseofCommons – Opposition Chief Whip @alancampbellmp moving the writ for the Birmingham Erdington By-election. Polling Day 3 March 2022.”
First item of business today in @HouseofCommons –
Opposition Chief Whip @alancampbellmp moving the writ for the Birmingham Erdington By-election
Polling Day 3 March 2022
— Labour Whips (@labourwhips) January 31, 2022
The by-election follows the sudden death of Jack Dromey MP, who was found dead at his constituency residence on Friday, 7 January.
Candidates from parties across the political spectrum are expected to contest the seat, with Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Lab, Holyhead) already announcing her intention to run as Labour’s sucessor to Jack Dromey – after being selected by local party members via an online vote on Wednesday, 26 January.
Currently the Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr. Hamilton was the first candidate to publicly declare their intention to stand for the Erdington seat – which if successful, would make her Birmingham first ever black Member of Parliament.
Addressing local Labour Party members at her official campaign launch, at Highcroft Community Centre on Saturday, 29 January, Paulette Hamilton told the crowd: “Can I thank you all for your support. I cannot believe it, the overwhelming support I have had from people throughout the constituency.
“We have got a lot of work to do. We are going to run a clean campaign; we are going to fight at the doorsteps to take the Labour message to the people.”
Also currently in the running is Dave Nellist, the one time Labour MP for Coventry South, who has declared his intention to run for Erdington MP as the official candidate for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
A longstanding supporter of worker’s right – who famously donated 60% of his MP’s salary to the Labour movement, trade unionists, and community campaigners – Mr Nellist is expected to take a strong anti-austerity stance and champion support from Erdington’s industrial community and factory workforces.
Following his announcement on Thursday, 27 January, Mr Nellist posted on social media:
“With Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour welcoming a Tory MP into the parliamentary party last week – while confirming Jeremy Corbyn’s exclusion from the PLP at its national executive committee meeting on January 25th – it couldn’t be clearer that the interests of Britain’s wealthy establishment will be in safe hands if and when they decide to move on from Boris Johnson’s disintegrating premiership. Starmer is so obviously not on our side.
“That is why I am proud to represent TUSC in the Birmingham Erdington by-election and would urge other trade unionists, socialists and community campaigners to also consider standing for TUSC in the forthcoming local council elections in May.
“Red Tories, Blue Tories or Yellow Tories carrying out policies against the interests of the working class majority cannot expect to be unchallenged at the ballot box”.
Since announcing their respective candidacies, both Paulette Hamilton and Dave Nellist have been canvassing across the constituency and receiving strong online support – although response has favoured those with strong links to the area.
There is also growing concern that Dave Nellist’s candidacy could split the Labour vote, adding pressure to the party that has consistently held the Erdington seat since 1974.
At the time of writing, no other parties have proposed a candidate for the Erdington by-election – however many are speculating Cllr Robert Alden (Con, Erdington) will stand again for MP, having contested the Erdington seat in the last four General Elections,
Cllr Alden, who has narrowed the gap between Conservatives and Labour in the last two General Elections, also lives locally – which could work well for voters who are keen to see a familiar face represent them in Parliament.