Liberty GB’s decision to contest Jo Cox’s seat at the Batley and Spen by-election following her death last week has been branded as “obscene” and “contemptible” by a Labour shadow minister.
Jack Buckby, Liberty GB’s parliamentary candidate and a former BNP member, said Ms Cox’s party had “blood on its hands”, and there was “too much at stake” to allow Labour to retake the constituency unchallenged. In the days after her death the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Ukip all announced their intention not to contest the by-election.
Speaking to the Mirror, shadow Home Office minister Jack Dromey described the party’s bid as “obsence, outrageous and contemptible”. He added: “The immorality of the far right knows no bounds. Britain will be shocked and they will be roundly rejected in the by-election”.
Councillor Andrew Cooper added: “If we have learnt anything in the last few weeks and certainly in the last few days, it is that people need to be more respectful to people who have different and contrasting views.”
The 23-year-old’s announcement that he will contest the by-election comes after Ms Cox's sister called for people to show “strength and solidarity” in the wake of her death. The Labour MP died on Thursday after being shot and stabbed as she was due to hold a constituency surgery at a local library in Birstall.
A 52-year-old man who appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Saturday over the killing gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”.
Mr Buckby was formerly tipped to be a leading figure in the BNP while a member of its youth wing the BNP Crusaders and has been described as an “heir apparent to Nick Griffin”, the former party leader. However, Mr Buckby left the BNP, citing concerns that the party’s views had become “racist”.
In a statement announcing his decision to stand, he wrote: “While the murder of Jo Cox is tragic, we must not let this tragedy blur the fact that the Labour Party is responsible for the demographic and cultural assault on Britain which has already done great damage in areas of Yorkshire.
“Too much is at stake to allow Labour to retake Batley and Spen unchallenged. The constituency is part of a region that has been turned upside down by mass immigration, with mosques sprouting like triffids, Islamic extremism proliferating, child-rape gangs still on the loose, and long-standing English communities under threat of demographic eradication.
“The Labour Party has blood on its hands. And by shutting down debate and labelling working class people concerned about their communities as racists, they risk driving desperate, disenfranchised people to further horrendous acts like this.”
Announcing his campaign on social media, he also said he supported capital punishment for the person responsible for Ms Cox’s death. He wrote: “Liberty GB calls for a referendum on the restoration of capital punishment. I support it, and I say we hang the Jo Cox killer.”