Paulette Hamilton selected to replace Jack Dromey in Birmingham Erdington

Sienna Rodgers

Birmingham councillor Paulette Hamilton has been selected by local members from a shortlist of two as Labour’s candidate in Birmingham Erdington, ahead of a by-election triggered by the death of Jack Dromey.

LabourList sources say Hamilton won the selection contest by 89 votes to 32 against rival Ashley Bertie, a former deputy police and crime commissioner in the West Midlands. Both live in the constituency.

After the result, Hamilton tweeted: “Thank you to the @ErdingtonLabour members for selecting me – I promise to work hard every day of this campaign and with your support look forward to representing Erdington in parliament.

“I will do my best to continue the legacy of @JackDromeyMP’s outstanding work. A huge thanks to @AshleyBertie_ who ran a fantastic positive campaign. [You’re] an excellent colleague with a bright future.”

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, with her husband owning a business in the constituency.

Bertie, who lost out, was the youngest deputy PCC appointed in the country in 2016. He was born in Birmingham Erdington, volunteered in Dromey’s office as a teenager and later worked for Dromey as a constituency researcher.

In a speedy timetable, applications opened on January 19th and closed on the 21st, before the longlisting and shortlisting took place over the weekend. An online local party hustings and final selection vote took place on the 26th.

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