Far-right parties contesting murdered MP Jo Cox's seat lose deposits after not getting enough votes

'We have shown that we stand together with one voice choosing unity and hope', says victorious Labour candidate

Caroline Mortimer
Friday 21 October 2016 11:45
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Far-right groups boo and jeer during tribute to Jo Cox after by-election

Every far-right party that stood in the by-election to replace murdered MP Jo Cox has lost its deposit.

Labour candidate Tracy Brabin retained the seat for the party with 85 per cent of the vote after other major parties declined to put up a candidate as a mark of respect.

Ms Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, a week before the EU referendum vote in June.

Groups such as the English Democrats, the BNP, the National Front, Liberty GB and English nationalist party, English Independence, all failed to secure at least five per cent of the vote which means under Electoral Commission rules they lose their £500 deposit.

Their defeat was seen as a victory for the type of politics Ms Cox championed - including EU membership and welcoming refugees - with her husband Brendan tweeting that it was “great to see all the purveyors of hate lose their deposit”.

In her maiden speech to Parliament in 2015, Ms Cox had said: “While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”

Ms Brabin, a former Coronation Street actress, vowed to continue the work of her predecessor who had championed EU membership and the rights of refugees.

In her victory speech, the 55-year-old, who was born in Batley, described her election as "bittersweet" but said: "We have shown that we stand together with one voice choosing unity and hope.

"I am delighted more than anything that the fringe parties have lost their deposits.

"It is a positive endorsement from the people of Batley and Spen about what they are looking for and what they want from me, which is unity and bringing people together."

She was heckled by some supporters of the far right candidates during her speech.

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