skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (128k) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (64K) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (128K) More Music Variety!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (64K) The Best Variety of Hits!

UK News

Batley and Spen by-election: Surprise win for Labour’s Kim Leadbeater


share close

Labour’s Kim Leadbeater has pulled off a surprise victory in the Batley and Spen by-election.

It had been expected that Tory challenger Ryan Stephenson would defeat Ms Leadbeater, sister of the murdered MP Jo Cox, after one of the most bitterly-fought parliamentary by-election campaigns in living memory.

During the campaign there had been claims of dirty tricks, intimidation including assaults, fake leaflets, dog-whistle racism and homophobia, prompting calls for police and election officials to intervene.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

‘The people have rejected division’

After she was confirmed to have won by just 323 votes, Ms Leadbeater said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the people of Batley and Spen have rejected division and they’ve voted for hope.”

She described the campaign as a “gruelling few weeks”, making a point of thanking the police, saying she had needed their help more than ever.

She also thanked her friends and family, adding that she could not wait to hug her niece and nephew.

Labour mounted a massive push for votes in the final hours before the polls closed in the West Yorkshire constituency and at least two bundle checks were needed, as the race appeared closer than many commentators had expected.

More from Politics

Sky’s chief political correspondent Jon Craig said: “It has been an extraordinary by-election – one of the most ill-tempered and acrimonious in recent years.

“What a sensational result, what a comeback for Labour when they were written-off.”

The win will relieve some of the pressure on Labour’s leader Sir Keir Starmer, who Craig said would be a “mightily relieved man this morning”.

Jo Cox's sister Kim Leadbeater on the campaign trail in Batley and Spen
Image: Jo Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater campaigning in Batley and Spen

Sir Keir welcomed the “fantastic result for the brilliant and brave” Ms Leadbeater.

“Kim ran a positive campaign of hope, in the face of division,” he said.

“She will be an outstanding Labour MP for Batley and Spen.”

Ms Leadbeater was defending a majority of just 3,525 won at the December 2019 general election by former Coronation Street actress Tracy Brabin, who triggered the by-election with her election to the new post of West Yorkshire metro mayor.

Turnout was just 47.6%, Kirklees Council said, with 37,786 verified ballots cast from an electorate of 79,373.

Batley and Spen was held by the Conservatives from 1983 until Tony Blair’s landslide in 1997.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

Previous post

UK News

Homes filled with smart devices could be exposed to thousands of hacking attacks in a week

A home filled with smart devices could be exposed to thousands of hacking or unknown scanning attacks in a single week, according to a report.Homes in the UK have an average of more than 10 different connected devices, from televisions to thermostats. But, while these products have benefits, they can also be a potential target for hackers.Consumer publication Which? set up a fake home with connected products bought online, including […]