Chamberlains' relative seeks to regain Tory grip on Birmingham Edgbaston


A Tory candidate who can claim a former prime minister among her eye-catching political lineage is pledging to work "around the clock" for constituents if elected.

Caroline Squire, who is standing for the key Birmingham Edgbaston seat, boasts Neville Chamberlain - who represented the same constituency - as a great great uncle.

She is also the great great granddaughter of Joseph Chamberlain, the city's reforming ex mayor-turned-MP, whose political ideas continue to influence the highest reaches of the Conservative Party.

Theresa May's key Birmingham-born adviser Nick Timothy authored a book called Our Joe, in which he argued that Victorian-era politician Chamberlain should be a role model for today's Tories.

Mrs Squire, a self-employed communications and public affairs consultant, will be seeking to unseat Labour's Preet Gill.

Ms Gill, who if elected would be parliament's first female Sikh MP, is standing after Labour incumbent Gisela Stuart announced she would be stepping down at the June election.

Labour currently holds the constituency with a 2,706 majority, with Ms Gill pledging to campaign on issues like schools funding and the future of the NHS.

Mrs Squire, a married mother-of-two, said: "I have a strong family legacy in Birmingham and I am honoured to be chosen as the Conservative candidate for Edgbaston as my great great uncle was many years ago."

She added: "If elected, I will work around the clock for all residents in the constituency and ensure their concerns and aspirations are heard at the highest tiers of Government.

"It is vital for both Edgbaston and the country that Theresa May returns to Downing Street after this very important election and this can only happen by voting Conservative."

The Edgbaston seat has the distinction of having had a female MP since Conservative Edith Pitt's by-election victory in 1953.

It had been a Tory stronghold until Labour's 1997 landslide, when Ms Stuart was elected.

Colin Green is standing in the seat for the Liberal Democrats, whose party was beaten to fifth place in 2015 by both Ukip and the Green Party, respectively.