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There’s a brand new Labour MP in the Commons, after Paulette Hamilton was elected in the Birmingham Erdington by-election on Thursday night.
Hamilton picked up 9,413 votes and managed a majority of 3,266 over Conservative candidate Robert Alden, with a turnout of 27 per cent. The election was triggered by the sudden death of MP Jack Dromey in January.
Hamilton becomes the first black MP elected in a Birmingham constituency.
She’s the latest elected representative to join the Labour party, and was welcomed by leader Keir Starmer, who wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to Paulette Hamilton, Labour's new MP for Birmingham Erdington and the city's first Black MP.
"You've made history. As a dedicated community champion I know that you will bring security, prosperity and respect to the people of Erdington."
Here’s everything you need to know about the new MP for Birmingham Erdington.
Who is Paulette Hamilton?
Darren Staples/Getty Images
Hamilton has been a sitting member for Birmingham City Council since 2004, and she previously worked as an NHS nurse for 25 years.
Hamilton, 59, was a district nurse and a manager for the Royal College of Nursing. Hamilton also helped during the pandemic to vaccinate people in Birmingham.
She celebrated her win on Thursday following a challenging run up to the election, saying she was “absolutely delighted – exhausted but delighted.”
The new MP’s father died just as her campaign was beginning, and she thanked her colleagues for their support after an emotional victory.
Thank you. To everyone who supported me, campaigned for me, voted for me. Thank you. The work starts now.pic.twitter.com/vGj50Mu9Zz
— Paulette Hamilton (@Paulette Hamilton)
"I'd also like to say 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," she said.
Hamilton added: "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.
"I really don't believe it at this moment in time."
It comes after her campaign hit trouble after her comments at a 2015 meeting on the topic “the ballot or the bullet” were unearthed - which saw her question whether “an uprising” might help black people more than democratic politics.
Ms Hamilton said: “Although I believe in the votes, and I believe in our right to use that vote or destroy that vote, I’m not sure that we will get what we really deserve in this country using the votes.
“But I don’t know if we are a strong enough group to get what we want to get if we have an uprising. I think we will be quashed in such a way we could lose a generation of our young people. So I am very torn.”
Labour backed its candidate, saying: “Paulette Hamilton is arguing for better representation for the black community in public life and, as she is campaigning to become Birmingham’s first black MP, she has a point.”
The Tory MP Gary Sambrook previously demanded she is suspended, arguing her comments are incompatible with Labour’s commitments to tolerance, democracy and respect.
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