Jack Dromey: Labour MP dies aged 73
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Labour MP Jack Dromey died suddenly in his flat in Birmingham on January 7. The 73-year-old shadow minister had held the seat of Birmingham Erdington since 2010. Mr Dromey’s death will trigger a by-election which will likely be held later this year. Here’s what happens when an MP dies in office.
Mr Dromey was a prominent member of the Labour Party, previously servings as the Labour Party treasurer as well as shadow minister for immigration.
He had previously acted as deputy general secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union before becoming an MP.
He is survived by his wife, Harriet Harman, a fellow Labour MP, and his three children.
His family said in a statement: “He was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather, and he will be greatly missed.”
Why is a by-election held after an MP dies?
A by-election can be triggered for a number of reasons if a constituency seat is left empty mid-way through a parliamentary term.
Reasons for a by-election being called include if an MP dies in office, if they resign, if they are found guilty of a criminal offence or if the MP becomes too ill to carry out their duties.
During a by-election, voters within the constituency are asked to vote to elect a new MP to represent their area.
Whichever candidate gains the most votes in this by-election wins and becomes the new MP for that area.
The newly-elected MP can only serve the rest of the pending term of the seat they are elected to.
The MP will face voters again at the next general election.
When do by-elections take place after an MP dies?
The date has not yet been set for the Birmingham Erdington by-election, but it is expected to be held later this year.
The Chief Whip of the political party the MP belonged to is responsible for initiating a by-election.
The Chief Whip will put a motion to the speaker of the house for a by-election, this is known as “moving the writ.”
MPs must then agree to the motion before a by-election can take place.
After the ”writ” has been issued a by-election will be held within 21 to 27 days.
But if a seat has been lefty vacant close to a general election then a by-election won’t be called, as it will be voted on when the rest of the UK takes to the ballot box.
If several seats have been vacated at similar times then by-elections for all of these vacant seats tend to take place at the same time.
The by-election for Southend West has been scheduled for February 3, 2022.
This by-election was triggered after the death of the constituency’s MP, Sir David Amess, on October 15, 2021.
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