By Erdington Local election news team
The Erdington by-election is about to “liven up” by order of the Peaky Blinders.
Mirroring the last series of the popular TV show, Peaky Blinders, Thomas O’Rourke, part owner of The Peaky Blinder pub in Dale End, is standing for Parliament – entering the upcoming by-election to become Erdington’s next voice in the House.
He told: “So, as life-imitates-art-which-imitates-life I’ve decided to give what the rest of the world expects from Birmingham – a Peaky Blinder candidate.”
Mr O’Rourke opened The Peaky Blinder seven years ago, before the BBC series became the international cultural phenomenon it is today. There are now Peaky Blinder themed pubs in Dudley, Southport, and Liverpool, with global TV giant Netflix securing the rights to broadcast the show in the United States and across the world.
Mr O’Rourke tried to buy the original Garrison pub eight years ago before it was turned into an HMO – an ironic twist of fate, as exempt accommodation and rogue HMO landlords are set to be fiercely fought campaign topics on the Erdington by-election hustings.
With The Peaky Blinder and the rest of Dale End being earmarked for demolition, Mr O’Rourke plans to open a new Garrison in the city centre to give Peaky Blinder fans a place to take selfies and learn more about the gang whilst enjoying a drink.
He said: “We welcome people from across the world to The Peaky Blinder and our pub has to be the most photographed building in Brum.”
But thankfully the only razor Mr O’Rourke will be using in his campaign is sharp wit.
He said: “I will give people what they want, slow motion videos of Peaky Blinders turning up to hustings mob-handed to a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack.
“People are sick to death of politicians right about now, we all stuck by the rules they created as they partied and laughed at us.
“The whole system is rotten, why would a vote for me be wasted, this country has great tradition of protest votes, and if anywhere is going to elect an MP called Tommy with a Peaky Blinder link then it’s going to be Birmingham.”
He added: “I will say with a smile on my face when I make my maiden Westminster speech – I am here by order of the Peaky Blinders!”
Mr O’Rourke, a 38-year-old father of one, is keeping tight-lipped about his campaign – but did reveal it took him less than an hour to get the ten nominations from voters in Erdington to qualify as a candidate just before the deadline today.
He said: “If people want an idea what I am going to get up to during this by-election then I suggest they watch every series of Peaky Blinders on iPlayer.
“Which probably is the most transparent thing any candidate says in this whole election.”
Peaky Blinders is set to return to our TV screens for the sixth and final series in February.
But in the run up to polling day on Thursday, 3 March, in Erdington the drama will centred around Tommy O’Rouke’s campaign to become the constituency’s next representative in Westminster.
The 12 candidates contesting the Birmingham Erdington seat are: Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Labour), Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative), Dave Nellist (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition), Lee Dargue (Liberal Democrats), Michael Lutwyche (Independent), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Siobhan Harper-Nunes (Green), Thomas O’Rouke (Independent), Mel Mbondiah (Christian People’s Alliance), Clifton Holmes (Independent), David Laurence Bishop (Militant Bus-Pass Elvis Party), The Good Knight Sir NosDa (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party).
To join Tommy O’Rouke’s campaign to become Erdington’s next Member of Parliament email ErdingtonTom@gmail.com