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So is Labour’s new MP for Tamworth going to give up her house and move there full-time? By-election winner Sarah Edwards, 35, recently started renting flat in constituency but still owns £400,000 home that is 25 miles away


Newly minted Labour MP Sarah Edwards was today celebrating a spectacular win in the Tamworth by-election – but may now have a difficult decision on her hands.

The former union official, who overturned a near 20,000-vote Conservative majority in the Staffordshire seat, claims she lives locally but still owns a home in a leafy suburb 25 miles away.

Ms Edwards only recently started renting out a flat in Tamworth, despite putting the address on her nomination form and telling voters online that she is based in the Staffordshire constituency.

And residents living near the property – in a converted office near the town centre – said last month that they had never seen her in town.

Sylvia O’Sullivan, 85, who lives across the road, said: ‘Until recently those buildings were offices for an alarm company. It relocated and they were developed.

Sarah Edwards, who overturned a near 20,000-vote Conservative majority in Tamworth, claims she lives locally but still owns a home in a leafy suburb 25 miles away

Sarah Edwards, who overturned a near 20,000-vote Conservative majority in Tamworth, claims she lives locally but still owns a home in a leafy suburb 25 miles away

Ms Edwards arrives to vote in Tamworth with her dog Poykee

Ms Edwards arrives to vote in Tamworth with her dog Poykee

‘I think one of them is an Airbnb because you see people with suitcases arriving and the other two properties are flats.

‘A number of people, maybe six, live in each. I have never seen her there. She may have moved in but I have not seen her.’

Neighbour Paige Lewis-Baggott, 29, said: ‘I think I saw her in the town centre canvassing but I had no idea she lived around here.

‘Maybe she has rented it to be closer to Tamworth for the by-election. The flats were finished earlier this year and I know they are quite big.’

Sipping wine in a café bar yards away, housewife Lacey Prosser, 46, was more cynical.

‘It’s not the sort of place a woman with some money would live,’ she said. ‘I don’t believe that’s her normal address. It’s typical Labour – always false, always pretending, nothing real about them.’

A woman who quizzed Ms Edwards on Facebook about her living arrangements was told by the candidate that she lived in Tamworth.

When the woman followed up to query the response, because ‘what I’m hearing and reading is you live in Birmingham’, she received the same response.

But Ms Edwards has in fact long lived in the Birmingham suburb of Moseley, a 45-minute drive away, and only began renting the Tamworth flat earlier this month.

According to the website of a local charity where she is a trustee, ‘Sarah was born and grew up in Moseley’ and studied in London then ‘moved back to Moseley to start in her current position at Unite the Union in 2012’.

Land Registry records show she is the sole owner of an Edwardian house in Moseley, which she bought in 2021 for £400,000 without a mortgage.

The redbrick property is currently covered in scaffolding and one neighbour said: ‘She’s still living there. 

‘She’s currently getting some help with some renovations, but she told me she’d be very busy until for the duration of the campaign.’

The Labour leader moved straight on to celebrate with Ms Edwards in Tamworth

The Labour leader moved straight on to celebrate with Ms Edwards in Tamworth

Another nearby resident said: ‘I know she’s very busy – she’s working her socks off and burning the candle at both ends.

‘She’s still living there, although I’ve not seen her this week. I have seen her father call around though. She’s a lovely neighbour.’

The Tamworth by-election, triggered by the resignation of disgraced former Tory minister Chris Pincher, saw Ms Edwards beat Tory rival Andrew Cooper by a majority of 1,316 votes.

The new MP graduated in Spatial Design from Central Saint Martins in London in 2010 and worked for Oxfam on fundraising and events from 2010 to 2012.

She then returned to Moseley to work as an organiser for Unite the Union. Her father was an English teacher and her mother and brother work in the NHS

A Labour Party spokesman said previously: ‘Sarah Edwards is offering a fresh start for Tamworth as a hard-working, full-time MP. She lives in the constituency. She rents a flat, pays council tax and is registered to vote here in Tamworth.

‘Sarah’s day job as a union organiser has meant for many years she has spent a lot of time working in and around Tamworth. Like many who live in Tamworth, Sarah grew up in Birmingham before moving here. She is a full-time Tamworth resident and moved to Tamworth before the by-election was called.

‘Whatever the result of the by-election, Sarah will continue to live in Tamworth, and she hopes to do so as a member of parliament who will turn the page on the Tory sleaze and scandal of recent years.’



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