Akhmed Yakoob says 'this is an earthquake' as he grabs over 69,000 votes in mayor race

Birmingham lawyer Akhmed Yakoob with his car
Akhmed Yakoob, a mayoral candidate causing disruption to the Labour vote in the West Midlands mayor election -Credit:Akhmed Yakoob

He may not have won the mayoralty of the West Midlands - that has gone to Labour's Richard Parker - but with his shades and his supercars, his entourage and his natty suits, Akhmed Yakoob cuts a formidable figure as he strolls through the ICC to take his bow.

From nowhere, the lawyer with a Tik Tok strategy has caused a political earthquake that's left the traditional parties reeling - not least the Labour Party. He couldn't quite keep Richard Parker out of the mayor's hot seat, but it would be 'crazy' to ignore the massive impact he has made, says Yardley MP Jess Phillips.

He has caused chaos, and he loves it. Off the back of widespread anger and frustration over the mainstream parties' reluctance to go all in on Israel over Gaza and demand an urgent ceasefire, he launched a pro Palestine campaign that's gone viral.

READ MORE: West Midlands Mayor results live from Birmingham

In Birmingham, more than 42,000 people, largely in inner city areas of East and West Birmingham, gave him their backing. It meant the Labour vote tanked in some areas that had previously been all red, just when it ought to have been free to capitalise on distaste for the Conservative party.

But he also picked up thousands more votes across the region, even in areas he'd barely set foot in. "You got 1,454 votes in Solihull," I tell him. He grins - 'I never even campaigned there, not really. That's good."

In all he secured 69,621 votes. Now he is eyeing up joining George Galloway's Workers Party of GB ahead of a tilt at the Ladywood constituency in Birmingham in the General Election, though thinks he might be better staying independent. "It's possible but I'm still working things out," he said today.

Political disruptor Akhmed Yakoob
Political disruptor Akhmed Yakoob -Credit:@akhmed_yakoob on Instagram

On an accusation that he is opportunistic and has personally done little for Gaza (made by Phillips), he is defensive. He says he has directly campaigned and fundraised for causes in Gaza, and employs a Palestinian Gazan in his office. "I am supporting people directly in Gaza and raising awareness direct - I've had over 15 million views of my TikToks on my campaign, that's all helping ensure people know what is going on and why it has to stop."

He is determined to carry on disrupting the status quo. "Disruption gets you noticed and I have disrupted the political system. This is an earthquake and in the West Midlands they are already feeling the tremors."

He added: "This is not about me appealing to one nationality, one faith or one area despite what people say, though those people are very angry. This is my first time in politics and I am going to be around for a long time."

Read our full analysis of the Mayoral Election and what the result means for the region tomorrow.