Kim Leadbeater does it - for her sister Jo Cox

Credit: Twitter/@kimleadbeater

Her victory in Batley and Spen was a stunning personal achievement for Kim Leadbeater.

The sister of Jo Cox, the MP who was murdered in this constituency five years ago, was hugely popular in her own right.

She had said she wanted to run because of Jo’s legacy - her aim to try to bring a divided community together.

The victory will lift immediate pressure off Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who visited Ms Leadbeater on the campaign. Credit: PA

But the narrow win in Batley is a huge moment for Labour too.

Talk of a leadership challenges against Sir Keir Starmer will now fade, at least temporarily.

It gives him valuable breathing space to work out how to revive the party’s image - and his own.

The fact that the former Labour MP George Galloway took around 8,000 votes - mostly it’s thought from Labour - means this was actually a better result than the slim majority of 323 for Kim Leadbeater suggests.

It will also give the Tories pause for thought, coming just a couple of weeks after their hammering in the Chesham and Amersham by-election at the hands of the Liberal Democrats.

This is another disappointing result for the Conservatives after the Lib Dems won the Chesham and Amersham by-election last month. Credit: PA

Matt Hancock’s downfall, exposed as flagrantly flouting Covid guidance after he was caught kissing an aide, will have swayed some voters.

It’s a story that undoubtedly cuts through.

Equally, it shows that politics is hugely fluid at the moment.

The Tory victory in Hartlepool was against the backdrop of the vaccine rollout, low Covid case numbers, and a sudden easing of restrictions.

Things have changed since then - with much more uncertainty about what the future holds.

Once again questions over the Government’s handling of the pandemic are beginning to surface.

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