Nurse Paulette Hamilton: who is first black MP for Birmingham Erdington - and by election results explained

Labour’s Paulette Hamilton has become Britain’s newest MP after winning the Birmingham Erdington by-election.
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Former nurse Paulette Hamilton, 59, claimed victory at the Birmingham Erdington by-election, becoming the first black MP elected in the city.

The by-election was triggered by the sudden death of Labour MP Jack Dromey, 73, who passed away due to heart failure in January.

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Mr Dromey was the incumbent for Birmingham Erdington since 2010, recently holding a 3,601 majority in 2019.

Despite a poor voter turnout, Ms Hamilton kept the seat in Labour’s hands by winning with a 3,266 majority.

The mother-of-five picked up 9,413 votes in total, surpassing Tory candidate Robert Alden with 6,147.

Alden had fought for the Birmingham Erdington seat for the past four general elections and is currently the leader of the Conservative group on the city council.

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The by-election had failed to inspire with only 17,720 ballots cast, meaning a mere 27% turnout.

Labour were favourites to win the by-election having held the constituency since it was created in 1974, but Conservative vote share in the region had been increasing year-on-year.

Despite this, Friday’s results show Labour increased their voter share in the region from 50.3 percent (2019) to 55.5 percent (2022).

In her victory speech, Hamilton said: “I’m truly humbled and honoured to be elected as a member of parliament.

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“I will not take your vote for granted, I have met many of you and I have heard what you have to say and I commit to you now, I will work for you and I will be your voice in Westminster.”

Hamilton also paid tribute to late MP Jack Dromey, stating: “He was a wonderful MP for his constituency and in the past few weeks campaigning across Erdington, Castle Vale and Kingstanding, I have heard so many stories of the difference Jack made to the people’s lives.”

Who is Birmingham’s newest MP Paulette Hamilton?

Paulette Hamilton is a 59-year-old former nurse and is a mother to five children.

Currently the cabinet member for health and social care on a Labour-controlled Birmingham city council she has held for 35 years, Ms Hamilton overcame personal tragedy to claim the by-election victory.

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The 59-year-old’s father passed away right at the start of her campaign, and Ms Hamilton thanked her fellow Labour colleagues for their support during this difficult time.

“I’d like to say a special thank you to Keir Starmer for his endless support,” she said.

“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.”

Ms Hamilton has also become the first ever black MP to be elected by a Birmingham constituency, and she assured reporters that she will “not be the last” as she hopes to inspire further diversity.

“When people see that I did it, others will be able to step up to the plate” she said.

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