ELECTION NEWS: “I’ll be fighting for community policing,” declares Labour by-election candidate Paulette Hamilton

By Erdington Local election news team

Paulette Hamilton, the Labour Party candidate in the upcoming Erdington by-election and current local councillor for Holyhead, has declared: “I’ll be fighting for community policing.”

During a recent visit of local youth outreach and support services with Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, the MP hopeful told Erdington Local:

“I would be fighting to go back to neighbourhood policing – the police knew the young people, they knew the families, they knew what was going on, and they worked with the partners. All of that has died in the last ten years.

“What is now happening is everything is frontline services, and they’ve (Conservative government) forgotten the soft work that was going on during the last Labour government which helped to actually alleviate some of the difficulties we are now having.

“For me, as a local MP, the thing I’ll be fighting for is community policing, community policing, community policing… because that’s what we need right now”

Having spent the morning visiting the YMCA in Sutton Coldfield and local hotspots in Kingstanding, talking with social workers and those on the ground supporting young people across the constituency, Paulette Hamilton was also keen to highlight the work undertaken by young carers – many of whom provide essential support for their own families.

She added: “I do think we need to do more for young carers, especially as they start to go to school – because many of our young carers, before they actually get to school, they’re doing a day’s work.

“Sometimes they go to school, and I’m not saying all of them, but they could be hungry, they’ve not spoken to anyone, they’ve not had time to do their homework. They’ve just not had the support they need.

“I have dealt with young people for many years; we cannot do things for them, without them.

“I think the strong message is a large number of young people out there, including areas like this (Kingstanding), they are suffering. What I believe needs to happen is we start to listen more, and to act on what they are saying.”

Joining Cllr Hamilton on the constituency visit, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper added:

“Theses youth workers, who’ve been doing a brilliant job, are so overstretched and those youth services have been massively cut back over the last few years – just at a time when they are needed the most. And that is letting our young people down.

“That has an impact on young people’s mental health, it also has an impact on their education, and on things like anti-social behaviour.

“They (the youth workers) told us too about seeing young people being drawn into the gangs and into criminal exploitation at a much younger age. That’s why things like youth services and community policing are so important.”

Police presence and response times are a growing concern across Erdington, with many local residents and businesses calling out for more bobbies on the beat.

Since 2010, the West Midlands has seen £175m stripped from the region’s policing budget, resulting in over 2000 less officers in post – including 25% of those in active service and over 50% allocated to community policing.

Shoplifting and anti-social behaviour on Erdington High Street have become all too prevalent, as trouble makers and thieves know any call out is unlikely to result in uniformed offers attending the scene.

Over the last few years, areas such as Kingstanding especially have seen a frightening rise in violent crime, including knife and gun crime between young people and gangs.

Last May, the 14 year old schoolboy Dea John Reid was fatally stabbed and died on Chester Road, once again highlighting the dangers for children on the streets of Erdington and across the city.

Standing in the heart of Kingstanding, Paulette Hamilton explained:

“In areas like this (Kingstanding) we see the signs, we see what’s happening, but sometimes we fail to act early enough.

“For me, it’s how we’re offering support to schools to help them identify some of the issues that then go onto the street, how are we supporting families before it gets to crisis point.

“I’d like to see more support services, like YMCA, where they can pick things up far earlier – and it means then we don’t get some of the tragedies like we did last year.”

Whilst policing budgets are currently set by the Conservative government, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper was keen to throw the support of the Shadow Cabinet behind the Labour candidate for Erdington MP.

She added: “As a local mum and a local nurse, Paulette really gets it and understands the need to support our young people.

“I think Paulette will be a great champion because she is so rooted in the community, with her family, and she will be a strong voice.

“She understands some of the pressures young people face and strong champion for community policing in this area.

“I think Paulette will be a strong voice for the whole community, for all the issues raised on the doorstep (when out campaigning) whether that’s the issues about HMOs or support for young people… I just think she’ll be brilliant.”

Erdington will elect its next Member of Parliament on Thursday, 3 March.

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).

For more on Paulette Hamilton visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/councillors/49/paulette_hamilton

ELECTION NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Erdington by-election set to “liven up” by order of Peaky Blinder Thomas O’Rourke

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.

Raised and still living in Erdington, Mr O’Rourke has thrown his flat cap into the ring “to liven up the by-election”.

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 [email protected]

ELECTION NEWS: Meet the 12 candidates fighting it out to become Erdington’s next Member of Parliament

By Erdington Local election news team

The deadline for any candidate wanting to contest the Erdington seat in the upcoming by-election has now passed, with 12 people officially set to contest the seat on Thursday, 3 March.

First to announce their candidacy was Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Lab, Holyhead).

Cllr Hamilton was selected by local Labour Party members via an online vote on Wednesday, 26 January – beating her party rival, Ashley Bertie, by a considerable margin.

Already attracting support from Labour frontbenchers, Cllr Hamilton has so far been joined on the campaign trail by Deputy Labour Leader Angela Raynor – with more big names from the shadow cabinet rumoured to be landing in Erdington soon.

Running for Erdington’s Member of Parliament for the fifth time, local lad Cllr Robert Alden (Con, Erdington) will be back on the MP campaign trail – hoping to put a Conservative in the Erdington seat for the first time since 1945.

Gaining public support from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Conservative big hitters such as Party Co-Chair Oliver Dowden, Robert Alden’s campaign could get a boost from the fact he is a well know local resident involved in many Erdington based initiives and campaigns.

It could also benefit from Cllr Alden’s direct link to the current government, which could see recently failed regeneration bids – such as the Future High Street and Levelling Up fund applicatons – brought back to the table. Although the ongoing issues around Mr Johnson’s premiership could affect public opinion.

The once MP for Coventry South East, Dave Nellist, will be running as the candidate for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Mr Nellist is expected to campaign against Government cuts, austerity measures, and to champion worker’s rights.

Since his announcement, Mr Nellist has already seen a significant response via social media and amongst Erdington Local readers, many of whom have been affected by the announced closure of the GKN Chester Road factory and continuing troubles at JLR Castle Bromwich.

Lee Dargue will be contesting the Erdington seat for the Liberal Democrats, having preciously run for Member of Parliament for Ladywood in the last two general elections.

Siobhan Harper-Nunes will be representing The Green Party – a Birmingham businesswoman and founder of Shakti Women, with an MSc in Urban Regeneration and 20 years professional experience in the city’s third sector.

Whilst local Erdington postman Jack Brookes will be standing for Reform UK, the modern day face of the Brexit Party following the UK’s departure from the European Union last year.

Mr Bookes will be running on a “secure borders” and “cheaper energy” platform, although campaign material being distributed by Reform UK has taken a hard stance on refugees seeking asylum in the UK – citing “the countless boats illegal migrants crossing the channel every day”.

Standing as the first independent to declare their intention for the Erdington seat is Michael Lutwyche – a Pitts Farm Estate resident and founder of the Justice-4-the-21 Birmingham pub bombings campaign.

The Christian People’s Alliance (CRA) will be presenting Mel Mbondiah as their candidate, a Walsall based pastor and longstanding social worker with experience in healthcare across the West Midlands.

Supporting an anti-abortion agenda and the declassification of cannabis, the CRA have never successfully elected a Member of Parliament – but have been previously successful in local government elections, placing representaives in Newham London Borough Council, and Aston-cum-Aughton .

Also standing in the Birmingham Erdington by-election will be Thomas Peter O’Rourke (Independent), Clifton Holmes (Independent), David Laurence Bishop (Militant Bus-Pass Elvis Party), and The Good Knight Sir NosDa (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party).

Polling for the Birmingham Erdington by-election is scheduled for Thursday, 3 March.

ELECTION NEWS: Cllr Robert Alden officially launches campaign to become Erdington’s next Member of Parliament and “a strong voice in Westminster”

By Erdington Local election news team

Local lad Cllr Robert Alden has officially launched his campaign to be the next MP for Erdington, hoping to be “a strong voice in Westminster” and to “stand up to” the Local Authority over issues affecting the constituency.

An Orchard Road resident, Robert Alden is already the elected representative of the Erdington ward, a position held alongside Cllr Gareth Moore, as well being the leader of Birmingham’s Conservatives.

Last weekend, Robert Alden was joined by local activists, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, and a number of the region’s MPs as they campaigned across the constituency – marking the official launch of his bid to become Erdington’s next Member of Parliament.

Robert Alden has contested the Erdington seat for the past four General Elections – narrowing the gap between Conservatives and Labour each polling day, and bringing his party the closest they’ve come to winning the constituency in 30 years.

If elected, he would become the first Conservative MP to represent Erdington since 1945.

In his role as local councillor and opposition leader, Robert Alden has worked with local residents on issues from Council Tax to housing repairs, street repairs and cleaner streets, as well as challenging the local authority around the rise in exempt accommodation in Erdington.

He has also supported resident groups and community events, in campaigns to save green spaces, local police stations, and health care centres – and sits as a local school governor and vice chairman of the Erdington Business Improvement District.

Stepping across the ward boundaries to Stockland Green, Cllr Alden has also started addressing some of the issues facing local residents and businesses in and around Slade Road – mirroring the work being delivered in the area by the Safer Streets project.

Robert, who lives in Erdington with his family and has been a local councillor in the area for 16 years, set out his plan to build on his strong record of local action and represent Erdington, Kingstanding, and Castle Vale in Westminster.

Robert told: “My long-term plan is about improving life for people in Erdington, Kingstanding and Castle Vale by providing high-quality, stable jobs and securing new investment in our high streets.”

“We need an MP that will protect the future of our automotive industry, like Jaguar-Land Rover,  work to secure new employment opportunities onto the GKN site, and attract new businesses and secure opportunities for young people.

“As a councillor for sixteen years, I’ve had to fight Birmingham Labour every day to secure local investment – they have let Erdington down for years and we need a strong local MP that will stand up to them.

“I have worked closely with West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to get things done like securing a National Express fare freeze and working with Short Heath Fields Trust to stop the Labour run Council from building on Short Heath Playing Fields.

“Right now, I’m working with Andy Street to make the new ‘gigafactory’ happen; producing batteries for electric vehicles and creating thousands of good local jobs.

“And we need a local champion who will work with ministers to secure investment in our high streets.  My plan is to work to ensure our communities get a fair share of the £76 million invested by the government in high streets across the West Midlands.

“With a strong voice in Westminster we can make our high streets better and safer. We can work to regenerate Erdington baths as a job-creating centre, funnel new investment into Kingstanding Circle and attract new businesses, restaurants and jobs.”

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street is backing Robert Alden’s bid for Parliament.

“I’ve worked with Robert Alden for years, so I’ve seen his dedication up close and he is totally devoted to getting things done,” Andy Street said.

“Robert has an unrivalled record of local action and the skills to be an excellent MP. He has my support at this by-election and I encourage residents to give him theirs.”

Erdington will vote for its next Member of Parliament on Thursday, 3 March. The deadline for political party and independent candidates to declare their intention to stand is 4pm on Tuesday, 8 February.

At the time of writing, the following candidates will be contesting the Erdington seat: Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Labour), Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative), Dave Nellist (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition), Michael Lutwyche (Independent), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Siobhan Harper-Nunes (Green).

For more on Cllr Robert Alden and the Erdington Conservatives visit www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk

ELECTION NEWS: Green Party announce Siobhan Harper-Nunes as Erdington by-election candidate

By Erdington Local election news team

The Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) has announced Siobhan Harper-Nunes as their candidate for the Erdington by-election.

The Birmingham businesswoman joins a growing number of candidates in contesting the seat left vacant by the recent death of Jack Dromey MP, with polling day set for Thursday, 3 March.

With its origins in the PEOPLE Party and subsequent Green Party, The Green Party of England and Wales was formed in 1990 to champion ecological and environmental issues in the political arena.

If elected Ms Harper-Nunes would join GPEW’s only current MP in Parliament – Caroline Lucas, who represents Brighton and Hove.

Ms Harper-Nunes is the founder and current head of Shakti Women, a female support and development organisation established in 2006 to ‘provide a space for women and girls to find community and re-focus on their own needs.’

Graduating from University of Birmingham with a Master of Science in Urban Regeneration, she has worked throughout the third sector in Birmingham over the last twenty years – as well as being manager of an external funding unit for Birmingham City Council between 2004 and 2006, with a focus on ‘attracting funds into Birmingham’s communities.’

Following her announcement as Green Party candidate, Ms Harper-Nunes said: “My entire career has been about supporting communities of space and place to flourish.

“My offer is simple, I will put the needs of Erdington residents first and work tirelessly to get things done.

“I know the power of one voice, but when we work together, amazing things happen.”

She added: “I joined The Green Party because it epitomises my ideals and my values. It’s time for change. We all deserve so much better.”

Ms Harper-Nunes outlined her approach to life and politics on her Linked-in profile.

She said: “I believe we author our own lives. And my dream is to have a wonderful life; a loving family, a beautiful home, travel, and a successful business doing what I love to do.

“So, I guess you could say I’m successful as that’s exactly what I have. My biggest passion in life is to seek and find miracles in the everyday.”

She added: “My mission is supporting women to be better and to take their rightful place as leaders, bosses and miracle makers.

“When I’m not writing or delivering kick-ass training, I’m supporting others with Business and Strategic Planning, Bid Writing, Mentoring, Marketing and Research.”

A spokesman for The Green Party said: “For the past year Siobhan has been volunteering in Erdington, listening to residents, getting things fixed, litter-picking and during lockdown, delivering hot food to the elderly.

“Siobhan is a “can do” activist. That’s why the party has nominated her as candidate for Erdington.”

Erdington will vote for its next Member of Parliament on Thursday, 3 March. The deadline for political party and independent candidates announcing their intention to stand is 4pm on Tuesday, 8 February.

At the time of writing, the following candidates will be contesting the Erdington seat: Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Labour), Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative), Dave Nellist (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition), Michael Lutwyche (Independent), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Siobhan Harper-Nunes (Green).

For more on The Green Party of England and Wales visit www.vote.greenparty.org.uk

ELECTION NEWS: Jack Brookes to stand as Reform UK candidate in Erdington by-election

By Erdington Local election news team

Reform UK has entered the Erdington by-election, picking local postman Jack Brookes as its candidate.

The former Brexit Party, which changed to Reform UK following the UK leaving the European Union  in Jan 2021, is contesting the Erdington seat on a “secure borders” and “cheaper energy” platform.

Reform UK further stated: “Jack (Brookes) is deeply concerned about the current crises facing our country, especially the extreme rise in the cost of living and continuing illegal crossings in the Channel.

“He will be offering the voters of Erdington a real alternative.”

Following the announcement of his candidacy for Reform UK, Mr Brookes said: “I’m a local postman who works in Erdington. I was born in Birmingham, brought up locally in a single parent, mixed-race family.

“I went to Bishop Vesey’s Grammar school and from there went on to read Economics with Finance at Queen’s University Belfast, graduating in 2020.

He added: “Before becoming a postman, I was a labourer for a few months during the summer and I loved the graft. I look at a task and I ask myself, “What can I do to get this done?”.

“When not working I’m a member of my local Reserve Unit and spend my free time cycling, in the gym and playing sports.

“I believe in personal responsibility, and the ability of an individual to make a difference to their own, and others lives.”

Leaflets for Reform UK have already been handed out in Erdington which ask if residents have “had enough” of unlawful immigration and describes “the countless boats illegal migrants crossing the channel every day”.

The party’s hard stance on refugees would “take the boats back to France” and “refuse to grant asylum” to those who get to the UK via the channel.

Mr Brooks added: “For too long, the people of Erdington have been ignored.

“I am passionate about freedom, and I am deeply concerned about the crises facing our country and community, especially the extreme rise in the cost of living.

“That’s why I’m standing in this by-election.”

Erdington will vote for its next Member of Parliament on Thursday, 3 March. The deadline for political party and independent candidates announcing their intention to stand is 4pm on Tuesday, 8 February.

At the time of writing, the following candidates will be contesting the Erdington seat: Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Labour), Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative), Dave Nellist (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition), Michael Lutwyche (Independent), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Siobhan Harper-Nunes (Green).

For more on Jack Brookes visit www.jackbrookes.uk 

For more on Reform UK visit www.reformparty.uk

ELECTION NEWS: Erdington to vote for next MP as by-election date set for 3 March

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.”

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.

ELECTION NEWS: Dave Nellist to run for Erdington MP as Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate in upcoming by-election

By Erdington Local election news team

On Thursday 27 January, Dave Nellist declared his intention to run for Erdington MP in the upcoming by-election – standing as the official candidate for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Having previously been a Member of Parliament for Coventry South East, a seat he held for the Labour Party for nine years, Mr Nellist is a longstanding supporter of worker’s right – famously donating 60% of his MP’s salary to the Labour movement, trade unionists, and community campaigners.

It is expected his campaign will take a strong anti-austerity stance, challenge Government cuts, and put the plight of workers at the heart of its manifesto.

Accepting the TUSC nomination, Nellist commented: “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”.

With people already taking to social media to demand a ‘union man’ to replace the late Jack Dromey MP, Dave Nellist’s campaign could find a welcome voice in the Erdington constituency – home of the ill fated GKN Chester Road factory and long suffering Jaguar Land Rover Castle Bromwich plant.

Having once shared an acrimonious office with Tony Blair, when both men were entered the House in 1983, Dave Nellist has been a longstanding supporter of Militant – an internal Labour Party born movement that became the Socialist Party in 1997.

Expelled from the Labour Party for his affiliation with Militant, ahead of the 1992 General Election, Dave Nellist was continuously voted in as a Coventry City councillor between 1998 and 2012.

After announcing his nomination for the Erdington by-election, the Socialist Party went on to state:

‘Former socialist MP Dave Nellist will be standing to put forward an anti-austerity, pro-worker alternative’ – hoping to regain a place in the House ‘to give a voice to the struggles of working class people in Erdington fighting attacks on public services, for decent pay and working conditions and for urgent action to deal with the cost of living crisis.’

Dave Nellist is the second candidate to announce their intention to run for MP in the upcoming Erdington by-election, following the Labour Party’s selection of Cllr. Paulette Hamilton – who was nominated by local party members on Wednesday, 26 January.

Although with a date yet to be set, and many other parties expected to put forward a candidate, the political race for Erdington’s next Member of Parliament has only just begun.

For more from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition visit www.tusc.org.uk

For more from the Socialist Party visit www.socialistparty.org.uk