NEWS: Seven candidates standing for Birmingham Erdington on 4 July General Election

Words by Erdington Local editorial team

On Thursday 4 July, voters across the country will be taking to the polls to elect their members of Parliament, and in turn the government.

Birmingham Erdington, a traditionally strong Labour seat, will see seven candidates contesting in the 2024 General Election. Four men and three women from across the political spectrum will be competing for votes to become Erdington’s representative in Westminster.

The Birmingham Erdington parliamentary constituency includes the political wards of Erdington, Stockland Green, Pype Hayes, Perry Common, Kingstanding, Castle Vale, and since the boundary changes in 2023 parts of Oscott.

Shaukat Ali (Independent), Farzana Ann Aslam (Liberal Democrats), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Paulette Hamilton (Labour), Steve Knee (Conservatives), Karen Trench (Green Party), and Corinthia Ward (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) are the candidates.

Erdington has been in Labour’s hands since 1936. The constituency’s current MP, Paulette Hamilton, who won the by-election in 2022 after the death of previous MP Jack Dromey, will likely be confident of keeping the constituency red.

Ms Hamilton, a former Birmingham City Council cabinet member, told Erdington Local: “Erdington is not just a place on the map for me, each corner is a chapter of my life.

“For over 35 years, it’s where I have raised my family and served with pride as a governor at Yenton Primary School.

“It’s where my journey as a nurse began with training in Kingstanding, before dedicating 25 years to our beloved NHS.

“Erdington is where I was elected as its Member of Parliament, it has shaped who I am today. I’m proud to call it my home and will continue to fight for the services local people deserve.”

But the Erdington Ward has two popular and longstanding Conservative councillors, which bring the Tories some goodwill in the area and potentially turn voters who have become disillusioned with Birmingham’s ruling Labour party after the city’s financial crisis

However, this year’s General Election will be the first since 2010 that Cllr Robert Alden – who is also leader of the Birmingham Conservatives and lives in the heart of Erdington – is not standing for the Conservatives. Instead, Derbyshire businessman Steve Knee has been campaigning for Birmingham Erdington since being voted in as the Conservatives Parliamentary candidate in March.

Mr Knee told: “Whilst out on the campaign trail in recent weeks, including during the successful by-election win in Kingstanding, I have met some terrific residents who are all clearly proud of their constituency and frustrated at the tax increases and service cuts coming from the Labour controlled Birmingham City Council.

“It is clear that good local representation is essential for residents of Erdington, Kingstanding, and Castle Vale.

“As such my priorities are to: Work with the terrific team of Conservative councillors in the constituency to stand up against council tax rises and crippling cuts to local services.”

Competing to be Erdington’s MP for the second time is Jack Brookes for Reform UK. The 25-year-old Libertarian will be hoping to benefit from Nigel Farage re-entering the political stage and resuming leadership of Reform UK, previously the Brexit Party.

One of the three Parliamentary candidates who lives in the constituency, Mr Brookes believes Birmingham needs a dose of law and order.

Mr Brookes told Erdington Local: “We need a crackdown on crime. It’s holding us back. When we bring back law and order then people will be able to thrive and standards of living will increase exponentially. The right to self-defense is absolute!

“Birmingham is the definition of anarcho-tyranny thanks to Labour and the Tories.”

He added: “Freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I will put my life on the line for these things. As long as you are not hurting anyone you should live your life how you see fit. These are what our ancestors fought and died for.”

Qualified barrister and Surrey based councillor Farzana Aslam has been chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Birmingham Erdington seat, despite being based over 100 miles from the city of a thousand trades.

Boasting a formidable CV, with degrees from Oxford and the London School of Economics, Ms Aslam has worked for NGOs, taught in Hong Kong, and is currently a director for a management consultancy.

Ms Aslam said: “I have a long history of voluntary work for NGO’s and charities specialising in social justice issues and am an active campaigner on local community issues relating to healthcare, the environment and local planning.

“I am not a career politician. I am relatively new to politics but driven by a deep desire to change the state our country is in.

“Birmingham Erdington is a community rich in diversity and history, but it is facing significant challenges that need urgent attention.”

George Galloway’s Workers Party is not fielding a candidate in Erdington. However, left wing voters do have an alternative to the Labour Party.

Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate Corinthia Ward also stood in the 2022 local elections for the Erdington Ward, garnering 95 votes.

Ms Ward said: “Growing up in Erdington, I can see first-hand the impact of Tory austerity and Labour council cuts on our community.

“In standing on a platform of anti-cuts and anti-war, I will work with local residents, trade unions and public sector staff to fight for the services and funding we need. Money can be found for bombs and dodgy PPE deals, but not for our streets or our youth.

She added: “This is why we need someone in Westminster who will raise the voice of ordinary workers while also linking it to the need for a new mass worker’s party in the interests of the many.”

The Green Party is also contesting the Birmingham Erdington seat in the 2024 General Election, flying the flag for those concerned about the environment and climate change.

With clean air zones and low traffic neighbourhoods coming under attack from other parties, their Parliamentary candidate Karen Trench will be defending environmentally friendly policies whilst demanding bolder action.

Ms Trench, a former Perry Barr Liberal Democrat councillor (2004-2018), won more than 9,000 votes in the 2010 General Election when she stood for the Perry Barr constituency and came second to Labour’s Khalid Mahmood. However, this will be her first election standing for the Green Party.

She said: “I am passionate about environmental and community issues. I am proud to call Birmingham my home, but I have seen the decline in the area over successive governments. We need to see real change in our community and investment into services. I am appalled by the cuts to youth services.

“I am standing for the Green Party as they have the right policies to tackle the major issues in our society such as climate change, homelessness and the cost of living crisis.”

Telford based Dr Shaukat Ali is standing as an independent. The pro-Palestine candidate is hoping to attract voters with the mainstream parties’ stance on the Israel/Gaza conflict.

Dr Ali said: “Britain is in a state of decay. Enough is enough. Who is to blame? Just ask yourself which two parties have governed the UK for the past 100 years and you will find an answer. What they offer is not change, but their turn. Do your bit to remould British politics for the common good, not the few.”

He added: “Let’s reset our moral compass. Tens of thousands of innocent women and children are being bombed, killed and starved in Palestine, yet the main parties are silent. Your MP even voted against a ceasefire.”

To find out more on the Parliamentary candidates across the country standing for the 4 July 2025 General Election, and to locate your nearest polling station, visit

NEWS: Conservatives win Kingstanding by-election with 5.8 percent swing of votes

Words by Erdington Local election editorial team 

The Conservatives have won the Kingstanding by-election with a 5.8 percent swing of the votes, in a result which will take on national significance ahead of the General Election.

Under the party name Local Conservatives, Clifton Frederick Welch polled 829 votes – retaining the second councillor seat in the North Birmingham Ward for the Conservatives.

Mr Welch had previously stood for the Pype Hayes Ward in local council elections, losing out to Labour’s candidates by 92 votes in 2022 and only 16 votes in 2018.

Coming in second place in the Kingstanding by-election, Naz Rasheed won 680 votes for Labour – losing by 149 votes to the party’s main political rival.

In third place, and significantly behind the front two candidates, was Lucy Haywood for the Liberal Democrats who received 82 votes.

Christopher Lee was forth with 72 votes for the Green Party, Pete Higgins of George Galloway’s Workers Party of Great Britain came in fifth with 46 votes, whilst Kris O’Sullivan of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition took only 20 votes in sixth place. There were ten spoiled ballots counted.

Yesterday’s by-election in Kingstanding was sparked by the resignation of the Ward’s former Conservative Councillor Rick Payne’s – after a slew of his racist social media comments were made public following an investigation by national anti-racism charity HOPE Not Hate.

The by-election was the first Erdington constituency poll since Birmingham City Council was effectively publicly declared bankrupt, after a section 114 notice was issued by city officers in September 2023.

The nationally reported financial chaos brought in Government appointed commissioners, and saw Birmingham’s current Labour run Council increase Council Tax bills by 20 per cent over the next two years and pass a cost-cutting budget which axed lifeline services for the city most vulnerable adults and children.

The election is also the last meaningful vote before the General Election scheduled on 4 July. A Conservatives win in Kingstanding, with a 5.8 per cent swing, will send shockwaves throughout Westminster.

The result will be analysed by all the national parties and commentators looking for trends which can shed a light on voters intentions in the General Election.

The combined vote for the leftwing alternative to Labour, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and the Workers Party was 66 votes which even if had gone to Labour would have still seen the Tories win.

Even if the Green vote, which many tactically vote instead of Labour, were added to the Workers and Socialist Parties the Tories still would have come out on top.

Further possibly reflecting the national trend, less than 1,700 Kingstanding residents turned out to vote in the by-election, with the official figures yet to be released by Birmingham City Council.

Rishi Sunak’s election team will likely seize on the result of what in national terms is an obscure by-elections as a glimmer of hope they can still win the General Election.

Following the results of the KIngstanding by-election, the Birmingham Conservative Group tweeted: “Birmingham Local Conservatives have won the Kingstanding by-election – with a 5.8% swing. The people of Kingstanding have sent a clear message to bankrupt Birmingham Labour over their double whammy of higher taxes and fewer services!”

At the time of writing, no message had been posted by either Birmingham Labour or their candidate Naziah Rasheed.

Polling company Election Maps UK claimed the Tories vote went up 4.7%, clinching 47.9% of the vote, whilst Labour’s vote dropped by 6.1% since the the 2022 local elections.

Councillor Welch is a familiar face in Erdington, campaigning in Pype Hayes with Birmingham City Council Conservative Group leader and Erdington Councillor Bobby Alden.

Erdington Conservative candidate for the General Election Steve Knee was knocking doors with Councillor Welch over the last week.

He said: “It was great to be supporting Clifton Welch in Kingstanding! Two out of the three days of this Bank Holiday weekend were spent in support of Clifton Welch in Kingstanding.”

Erdington Local has approached all political parties for comment.

For more on both local and national elections held across the UK, alongside advice on how to register to vote, visit

OPINION: Erdington Cllr Robert Alden, Leader of Birmingham Conservatives

Words and pics supplied by Erdington Ward Cllr Robert Alden – Leader of Birmingham Conservatives

The last month has been busy as always, with colleagues and I continuing to push a number of campaigns to support residents.

Together with Kingstanding local campaigner, Clifton Welch, we recently met with staff from the NHS to continue to push for Warren Farm Urgent Care Centre (soon to be closed for urgent roof repairs) to be reopened longer term.

I have also been supporting Clifton Welch with his new ‘Pride in Kingstanding’ campaign that has seen him clearing dozens of bags of rubbish off the streets of Kingstanding, including clearing the alley between Gainford Road and College Road and clean numerous road signs locally to remove graffiti and dirt.

Cllr Gareth Moore and I were also joined by Kingstanding Campaigner Clifton Welch, who is leading the campaign to keep Perry Common and Kingstanding Libraries open, and Parliamentary Spokesperson Steve Knee at the public consultation event on the future of libraries in the city.

We have been clear to the Council that we think Erdington, Kingstanding and Perry Common Libraires should be protected and remain open.

We have put forward a fully costed alternative, approved by Council officers, which would allow the Labour administration to scrap their plan to close our libraires. We will continue to push them to listen to the calls of residents.

Finally, thank you to everyone who voted for Andy Street in the recent West Midlands Mayoral election, sadly Andy lost by under 2000 votes across the whole urban West Midlands..

For more from Erdington’s Councillor Robert Alden and Councillor Gareth Jones visit

OPINION: Erdington Cllr Robert Alden, Leader of Birmingham Conservatives

Words and lead pic supplied by Erdington Ward Cllr Robert Alden – Leader of Birmingham Conservatives

Cllr Gareth Moore and I, working with Parliamentary Spokesman Steve Knee and local campaigner Clifton Welch, have been leading the campaign to save Erdington, Kingstanding and Perry Common Libraries from the savage Labour Council’s bankruptcy cuts.

Gareth, Steve and I (pictured) joined the recent Friends of Erdington Library for their ‘read in’ protest and also held a public meeting calling for the saving of Erdington Library.

Erdington Library is a vital part of the heritage and character of our local High Street, it provides valuable services for local residents and gives people access to resources they may not otherwise be able to use. It must be saved!

This month has also seen the Labour Council launch their consultation on the ‘Be Heard’ Council consultation site. We attended the public consultation event for Erdington Library recently held by the Council. Sadly, the Council did not allow residents to make any verbal contributions, nor was any Erdington specific information shared with residents who attended.

This was frankly totally disgraceful and no way for the Council to treat residents. Sadly, the way the consultation has so far been run by the Council suggests they have contempt for the Library service.

Thank you to the 100’s who have already signed our petition to save our libraires, if you have not yet signed you can by going to our Facebook page – and also to the Friends for their continued efforts fighting to save our local library as well.

For more from Erdington’s Councillor Robert Alden and Councillor Gareth Jones visit

NEWS: Derbyshire businessman Steve Knee selected as next Conservative parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Erdington

Words by Ed King / Group pic supplied by Birmingham Conservatives – other pics taken from Steve Knee’s YouTube content

Derbyshire businessman Steve Knee has been selected as the next Conservative parliamentary candidate for the Birmingham Erdington seat – as voted for by locally registered party members.

Following the announcement that longstanding Erdington Ward Councillor Robert Alden will not contest the seat in the upcoming General Election, as he has done over the last four, a selection meeting was organised for 13 March to choose the Conservative’s new Erdington MP hopeful.

On Thursday 14 March, the Birmingham Conservatives issued a statement confirming Mr Knee as their next parliamentary candidate for the Birmingham Erdington seat.

Steve Knee is an established businessman and entrepreneur, who set up Cloudbass Multimedia Limited in February 2009 – a television programme production company which broadcasts high profile events from the London Olympic Games opening ceremony to Glastonbury Festival.

According to documents on file at Companies House, Cloudbass Multimedia Limited is the “largest independently owned” outside broadcast facilities provider – operating from three sites across the UK.

Successfully navigating through the Covid pandemic and international lockdowns, which saw the ruin of many organisations that work with the entertainment sector, Cloudbass Multimedia retains its 40,000 sqft headquarters in Derbyshire – where Mr Knee also lives with his wife and three children.

Mr Knee has also previously stood for the Duffield and Quarndon Ward in the 2023 Amber Valley Borough Council elections, alongside running mate Martin Betteridge – coming in second with around 27% of the turnout, beating Labour but losing to the incumbent Green Party.

Following his selection as parliamentary candidate for the Birmingham Erdington seat, Mr Knee told: “I’m absolutely delighted… as a constituency with a rich heritage, I’m looking forward to representing the people and to help improve their real world outcomes, from the cost of living to dealing with the fallout from the City Council cuts.”

He added: “I’m a passionate advocate of renewable energy, not only for the environmental benefits but as the cheapest form of energy production it can make a real different to the cost of living.”

Following Mr Knee’s selection, Birmingham Conservatives Association Chairman and Erdington Ward Councillor Gareth Moore stated: “Steve (Knee) demonstrated that he is fully aware of the terrible impact Labour’s financial mismanagement will have on residents and how he wants to work with residents and local Conservative Councillors to fight for our area and to help protect vital services like our local libraries.”

The selection meeting on 13 March, held at the Erdington Conservative Club on Orchard Road, also saw local party members confirm to keep in place the following candidates for the 2026 Council elections: Cllr Robert Alden (Erdington Ward), Cllr Gareth Moore (Erdington Ward) and Cllr Rick Payne (Kingstanding Ward).

Steve Knee: Who am I? – taken from Mr Knee’s own YouTube channel