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Jack Dromey

Union baron Jack Dromey has secured the Labour nomination for the Erdington constituency – the party’s safest seat in Birmingham. Despite claims that the husband of party chair Harriet Harman was an outsider “parachuted in” against the wishes of the local party, he won by a landslide.

Dromey secured 65 votes, with Ansar Ali Khan coming second with 23 and Steve Bedser third with 22. Gurdial Singh Atwal gained just two votes.

In a statement issued after the result was announced, Dromey said: ““I am honoured by the decision of Labour Party Members in Erdington to select me as their candidate in the General Election.

“For 25 years, I have fought great battles in Birmingham for working people and social justice. Together with the good men and women of the Erdington Labour Party I will fight to win the General Election and we will win back Birmingham City Council for Labour. With Gordon Brown, Labour will offer a future fair for all.

“I will serve the people of Erdington as a hardworking local MP, punching the weight of a fine constituency that has seen real progress under 13 years of a Labour Government but still with a lot to do.

“Jobs, housing, the quality of life and ensuring that no one in Erdington is left behind will be my priorities. And we will take on the Tories, and fight their plans to cut 2000 jobs and slash this community's public services.”

Dromey’s supporters in Erdington said that although he isn’t local, his experience as a trade unionist – he’s deputy General Secretary of Unite – showed his authentic socialist credentials.

What’s more, he’s rated as a fine orator, with a good “human touch”.

Steve Bedser was magnanimous in defeat, saying, “No one should think Jack has had it easy…he’s a worthy winner”.

Maybe not - but the Conservatives, who are fielding Robert Alden, the youngest member of the local political dynasty are already making the most of Dromey’s lack of Birmingham links.

Councillor Gareth Compton commented, “Labour have selected the “A-Z Candidate” to fight Erdington at the General Election: a man from the Labour high command in London, married to a London Labour M.P. and Deputy Leader Harriet Harman, with no local connections to Birmingham whatever, never mind Erdington.

“Labour are treating Erdington like a latter-day rotten borough. They think they can parachute in any candidate they like from London, regardless of what the locals think or want.”



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