Jo Cox's sister plans to stand in Batley and Spen by-election

Kim Leadbetter currently works as an ambassador the Jo Cox foundation. Credit: ITV News

The sister of Jo Cox, Kim Leadbetter, has said she plans to stand in the Batley and Spen by-election triggered by the election of Tracy Brabin as West Yorkshire Mayor.

Ms Cox was the MP for the constituency when she was murdered in 2016 in the weeks before the EU Referendum.

Kim is an ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation which she helped to set up in her sister's memory and has told Batley and Birstall News that she hopes to stand as a Labour candidate in the upcoming election.

Ms Leadbeater was awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours last December for services to social cohesion, the community in Batley and Spen and combatting loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: "I’ve been moved by how many local people from across the area, many Labour Party members but others too, have been in touch asking me if I would stand.

"It has knocked me for six. I would love to represent this extraordinary, vibrant place that I have called home all my life.

"I am touched that so many people seem to think I would do a good job and I can promise that if they want me, I will give my all for Batley and Spen at Westminster."

She added: "I’ve heard how disillusioned and disengaged they are with politics and how worried they are about the future of our towns and villages. And I’ve listened to their ideas about how we can give Batley and Spen an even brighter future.

"I won’t pretend to have all the answers, but I will speak up wherever and whenever it takes, so the voice of this constituency is heard loud and clear."

No date has been set for the election yet, but it is thought that it will be a close race between Labour and the Conservatives, who are looking to build on success in the region in 2019 and 2021.