Batley and Spen: Labour wins by election as Kim Leadbeater becomes MP

Kim Leadbeater's speech after Labour win Batley and Spen by-election

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Sir Keir Starmer has staved off a political crisis after the Labour Party narrowly clung onto Batley and Spen in a crucial by-election.

The sister of murdered MP Jo Cox Kim Leadbeater has pulled off a surprise victory after one of the most bitterly fought parliamentary campaigns in recent years.

In the run up to the vote there were claims of dirty tricks, intimidation including assaults, fake leaflets, dog-whistle racism and homophobia, prompting calls for police and election officials to intervene.

Ms Leadbeater, who won by 323 votes, said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that the people of Batley and Spen have rejected division and they’ve voted for hope.’ She thanked her family saying ‘without them I could not have got through the last five years, never mind the last five weeks.’

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