Labour draws up shortlist of two candidates for Birmingham Erdington

Sienna Rodgers

Labour has drawn up a shortlist of two potential parliamentary candidates for Birmingham Erdington ahead of a by-election triggered by the sad death of shadow minister and labour movement veteran Jack Dromey.

Ashley Bertie, a former deputy police and crime commissioner in the West Midlands, and Paulette Hamilton, a Birmingham councillor and cabinet member, have been shortlisted as potential Labour candidates for the upcoming contest.

A Labour source said: “We’re really pleased we had a very high calibre set of applications and we now have a really strong final shortlist of two people who live in the seat.”

In a speedy timetable, applications opened on January 19th and closed on the 21st, before the longlisting and shortlisting took place over the weekend. There is set to be an online local party hustings and final selection vote on Wednesday.

“I’m honoured to have been shortlisted to become the next @UKLabour MP for the constituency I grew up and live in – Birmingham, Erdington. @JackDromeyMP will always have a special place in my heart and those of Erdingtonians and I hope that party members will support me,” Bertie tweeted.

Bertie is the chief executive of the Independent Custody Visiting Association. As the youngest deputy PCC appointed in the country in 2016, he worked on the region’s approach to youth and gang violence, before becoming head of campaigns at 38 Degrees.

The social justice campaigner was born in the constituency, has always lived in Birmingham Erdington and did a Masters at the University of Birmingham. He volunteered in Dromey’s office as a teenager and later worked for Dromey as a constituency researcher.

“I have put myself forward to become the next @UKLabour MP for my home constituency of Birmingham Erdington. @JackDromeyMP will be a tough act to follow – I’m honoured that my party have shortlisted me and hope the party members endorse me,” Hamilton tweeted.

Hamilton has been a Birmingham councillor since 2004. As the cabinet member for health and social care, she has led Birmingham’s response to the pandemic, appearing on BBC Newsnight and winning a local government award for her work.

The councillor, a child of the Windrush generation, was born in Handsworth. She worked as a nurse before entering politics and has lived in Erdington for the last 35 years according to the party, with her husband owning a business in the constituency.

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