Labour's Tracy Brabin wins Batley and Spen by-election following death of MP Jo Cox

Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Ukip did not contest the seat as a mark of respect to Ms Cox

Alexandra Sims
Friday 21 October 2016 02:53
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Tracy Brabin after holding the seat for Labour
Tracy Brabin after holding the seat for Labour

Labour has held the West Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen in a by-election following the death of MP Jo Cox. The Labour candidate, former Coronation Street actress Tracy Brabin, received 17,506 votes, winning with a majority of 16,537.

The by-election was prompted after Ms Cox was shot and stabbed outside Birstall library in June, where she was due to hold a constituency surgery. Ms Cox had won the seat with a majority of 6,057 in 2015.

Labour was the clear favourite to win the Yorkshire constituency, where Ms Brabin campaigned to carry on the work of her predecessor.

Ms Brabin, 55, was selected by members of the local party following a hustings event with the other shortlisted candidate, Jane Thomas, at a school in Batley.

The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Ukip chose not to field candidates in the contest as a mark of respect to the late MP. However, a number of fringe parties, mainly on the hard right, moved in to try and gain support in the highly unusual election.

Ms Brabin was born in Batley and worked with Ms Cox on her campaign to save the town's library. She is calling for improved transport links to nearby Bradford and Leeds and a stop to the downgrading of Dewsbury hospital.

Ms Brabin played Tricia Armstrong in Coronation Street in the 1990s before appearing as Roxy Drake in EastEnders, and Carole in Emmerdale. She has also written for shows including Family Affairs, Tracy Beaker and Hollyoaks.

A by-election has also taken place in the Oxfordshire constituency of Witney after former Prime Minister David Cameron quit the seat last month insisting he did not want to become a "distraction" to Theresa May whilst she established herself in Downing Street.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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