Batley and Spen by-election news live: latest updates as votes are counted in key by-elections
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The count was underway on Friday morning in the Batley and Spen by-elections, in what is described as a key test of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership of the Labor Party.
Labor is defending a majority of over 3,000 in the seat with Kim Leadbeater – the sister of former Batley MP and Spen Jo Cox, who was assassinated in the constituency in 2016 – the party candidate.
His main rival is the Conservatives’ Ryan Stephenson, but the arrival of campaign veteran George Galloway has provided an additional headache for Labor campaign managers. Mr Galloway said he was targeting Labor voters in an explicit attempt to topple Sir Keir.
Union activists said they were pelted with eggs and hit on the head during the election campaign over the weekend and West Yorkshire Police said an 18-year-old man from Batley was arrested on suspicion of assault in the context of an attack on canvassers.
Galloway denounces “fake news”
“There has been a monstrous regiment of Fake News charlatans at work,” the candidate tweeted.
“Recycle each other’s tropes, be led by the nose by Labor. The blind guide the blind. “
Alastair JamiesonJuly 2, 2021 04:41
Tea and cake
While the clerks are very busy counting, things are quieter for politicians and the media.
Votes are counted at Cathedral House in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
Alastair JamiesonJuly 2, 2021 4:15 AM
Here’s what the result looked like at Batley and Spen in the 2019 general election, when Labor won the seat for the 8th time in a row:
- Tracy Brabin (Work Coop), 22,594 votes, 42.7%, (-12.8 out of 2017)
- Mark Brooks (curator), 19,069, 36 percent (-2.8)
- Paul Halloran (Independent Heavy Wool District), 6,432, 12.2 percent (did not resist in 2017)
- John Lawson (Liberal Democrats), 2,462, 4.7 percent (+2.4)
- Clive Minihan (Brexit Party), 1678, 3.2% (N / A)
- Ty Akram (Green), 692, 1.3% (no change)
Alastair JamiesonJuly 2, 2021 3:51 AM
Batley and Spen’s by-election turnout is 47.6%, Kirklees council announced on Friday morning.
A total of 37,786 votes have been verified and are being counted.
Alastair JamiesonJuly 2, 2021 3:09 AM
Work needs to know what it stands for, says former Corbyn collaborator
Former Jeremy Corbyn political director Andrew Fisher has said he would rather see a serious discussion of Labor values than an immediate challenge to the leadership if the party loses Batley and Spen.
“I think it’s more important that the Labor Party has a discussion about what we stand for at this point rather than who the individual is,” Fisher said. BBC Newsnight.
“I don’t think these are individuals. I think a lot of people thought Keir Starmer would be the right fit, the jury is still out on that. I think it’s really important that we know what we’re standing for and be very clear about it.
“And that’s what’s missing right now, whoever the leader is.”
You can find his comments below:
Conrad DuncanJuly 2, 2021, 2:53 AM
While waiting for the results, you can review our editor again Colin Druryreports from the field of the division campaign in Batley:
Conrad DuncanJuly 2, 2021 2:24 AM
Our main political commentator Jean Rentoul argued earlier today that a challenge to the leadership of the Labor Party would not be enough to make up for the party’s bad luck:
Conrad DuncanJuly 2, 2021 01:41
Here’s what Sir Keir Starmer’s spokesperson said about the chances of the Labor leader stepping down earlier this week:
Conrad DuncanJuly 2, 2021 12:36 AM
Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar praised Labor candidate Kim Leadbeater for her “courage, decency and compassion” displayed during the campaign:
Conrad DuncanJuly 2, 2021 12:23 AM
The mood in the Labor camp tonight is “very grim” over the party’s chances of winning the Batley and Spen by-election, according to BBC NewsnightNicholas Watt’s political editor:
Conrad DuncanJuly 1, 2021 11:58 PM