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Allegation over offensive tweet sees Birmingham councillor resign and leave vacant seat

Thousands of residents in a Birmingham ward will be able to vote in an upcoming by-election following the resignation of a councillor.

Birmingham Council House

Rick Payne quit his post following suspension by Birmingham City Council’s Conservative group over allegations he tweeted “offensive content” from a social media account used anonymously.

A by-election for one seat in the Kingstanding ward, an area to the north of the city, was called as a result of the resignation.

Birmingham Council House

The Conservatives will be fighting to keep this particular seat in the coming days while facing opposition from the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Workers Party and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Voters will go to the polls later this month on Thursday, May 30 between 7am and 10pm.

The list of all the candidates running in the by-election can be found below:

Lucy Hayward – Liberal Democrats

Pete Higgins – Workers Party Birmingham

Patrick Christopher Lee – Green Party

Kris O’Sullivan – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Naz Rasheed – Labour Party

Clifton Frederick Welch – Local Conservatives

This by-election will be the second held in Birmingham since the city council approved a wave of cuts to local services, as well as a 10 per cent rise in council tax, amid its bleak financial position.

A separate by-election, held in the Bournbrook and Selly Park ward of Birmingham earlier this month, saw Jamie Scott retain a vacant seat for the Labour Party.

The council’s concerning predicament is down to Birmingham-specific issues, such as an equal pay fiasco and the disastrous implementation of a new IT and finance system, as well as the rising demand for services and funding cuts.

Council leader John Cotton has previously criticised the Conservative government and argued councils across the country face a perfect storm of smaller budgets and higher costs.

Conservative politicians have pointed the finger at the mistakes made by the Labour council administration, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insisting the authority had mismanaged its finances.

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