Erdington's new MP, Paulette Hamilton, says "it hasn't sunk in yet" after winning the Birmingham seat in a by-election last night
Labour candidate Paulette Hamilton has won the Erdington by-election, which came following the sudden death of Labour MP Jack Dromey in January.
The turnout for the by-election is 27.01%, according to the deputy returning officer. 17,016 ballots were cast, in an electorate of 62,996.
Of those, Ms Hamilton won with a majority of 3,266 but the by-election failed to inspire voters, with a turnout of just 27%.
She picked up 9,413 votes, ahead of Tory candidate Robert Alden with 6,147.
In her victory speech, Paulette Hamilton said: "I am absolutely delighted - exhausted but delighted."
"I know it's a lot of work that often goes unmentioned, so thank you for your endless professionalism and commitment to the democratic process."
"Something I think we all treasure even more following the events in Europe."
Ms Hamilton becomes Birmingham's first black MP.
Who is Paulette Hamilton?
Paulette Hamilton has been a local councillor for more than 17 years and has worked for the NHS for 25 years - rejoining the healthcare frontline during the pandemic to support the vaccine rollout.
Born and raised in Handsworth, Paulette was appointed to the role of Mental Health Champion for Birmingham City Council in October 2013 and appointed to Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care in May 2015.
What does the new Erdington MP stand for?
Speaking when she was chosen to represent Labour in the by-election, Ms Hamilton said:
"I’ve got a track record of getting things done. My priority will be to restore community pride in Erdington – by tackling fly-tipping and regenerating the high street.
"I will address the issues around HMOs (house in multiple occupation) and high levels of anti-social behaviour,” she said.
The Erdington resident also said she understands the issues faced by “every local family”, adding she would “fight for every vote”.
During her time as a councillor of the Handsworth Wood Ward she said she was the local residents' advocate for addressing anti social behaviour, environmental issues, women issues and community cohesion.
Last week, ITV News Central asked Ms Hamilton three questions including:
What is the most pressing local issue you'd tackle in Erdington?
Has trust in politicians been eroded, and if so, how will you seek to gain the trust of voters in Erdington?
If elected, how will you seek to tackle the cost of living crisis?
In response, Ms Hamilton said:
Issues: "The biggest issue that has been raised to me on the doors is around the glut of HMOs and exempt accommodation. There are major loopholes in the existing legislation that are being exploited by rogue landlords and it will be my focus in Parliament, along with my Labour colleagues Shabana Mahmood, Lisa Nandy and others, who have already started work on this, to tighten the legislation and close those loopholes.
"It is absolutely wrong that rogue landlords can profit from providing substandard housing to vulnerable people and it will be my mission to put a stop to it."
Trust: "I hope people in Erdington trust me, not so much as a politician, but as a local resident who has lived here for 35 years, as a nurse who has served this community for 25 years, as a mother who has raised five children here and as someone, who like them, relies on our high street and green spaces.
"I know the issues affecting residents here, because they affect me too. While Boris Johnson and his pals partied in Westminster during the pandemic, I went back to frontline nursing to help with the vaccine rollout, something I was proud and pleased to do, and that’s why voters in Erdington can put their trust in me to do the right thing."
Cost of living: "I will help tackle the cost of living crisis by speaking up in Parliament about the reality on the ground for people living here. I will not be nodding along with the Conservative Government, but challenging them and giving them a reality check on the real struggle people are facing to keep their homes warm and food on the table.
"I will be backing Labour’s plans to offer actual solutions to this crisis, by scrapping the VAT on energy bills and calling for a windfall tax on the eye-watering profits made by gas and oil companies, allowing people to keep more of their money and not having to face the desperate choice between heating and eating."
Paulette's victory means the seat has been held by Labour since its establishment in 1974.