LABOUR won the Birmingham Erdington by-election this morning – but barely a quarter of people bothered voting.
Paulette Hamilton kept the seat for the party to become Britain’s newest MP and the city’s first black representative in Parliament.
The nurse beat her closest Tory rival Robert Alden with a 3,266 majority to hand her 55 per cent of the votes.
She said: “The fact that I am now not only the MP for Erdington but the first black woman – the first woman to ever get the position – I am delighted and I am still pinching myself.”
But the contest was overshadowed by abysmal voter turnout as most stayed at home, with only a feeble 27 per cent casting their ballots.
Ms Hamilton also survived an eve-of-poll crisis when bombshell footage showed her touting an armed “uprising” over democratic elections.
At a 2015 Black Unity discussion called “the ballot or the bullet”, Ms Hamilton said she was “very torn” between whether voting or revolution was the best way to drive change.
Tory Cabinet Minister Nadine Dorries had said: “Disturbing to think that this person with such views may be elected as an MP tomorrow and sitting on the Labour benches by next week.”
In the early hours this morning Ms Hamilton paid tribute to Sir 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.”
The byelection was called after veteran politician Jack Dromey – husband of Harriet Harman – suddenly died of heart failure.