How Batley and Spen should honour Jo Cox’s legacy – The Yorkshire Post says

IT IS a poignant irony of timing that the fifth anniversary of the murder of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox should coincide with a by-election in the constituency in which her sister Kim Leadbeater is Labour’s candidate.

This, undoubtedly, will be a day of personal reflection for the family and friends of Mrs Cox who was killed by a far-right extremist as she arrived at a constituency surgery. The thoughts of all will be with them.

This is also an occasion for politicians, and others, to reflect on the toxicity of debate and discourse after pledging, in the aftermath of this senseless murder, to make public debate less coarse and more respectful.

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And it is an opportunity for voters to decide who is best qualified to represent Batley and Spen in Parliament and champion those issues that matter most to local families.

It is five years since the murder of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox.

In this regard, the national rhetoric is incidental to the need to elect a candidate who understands this proud area and a need to work on a cross-community basis in a seat which has a proud record of returning MPs, Tory and Labour, who know how to make a difference.

Not only does this require an exceptional individual who will work tirelessly on constituency case work – the unsung and unheralded work that all MPs are expected to undertake – but a politician capable of holding Ministers and officials to account with the fearless and forensic questioning that Julian Knight, the chair of Parliament’s Culture Committee, and others demonstrated when quizzing former BBC bosses over disgraced Panorama reporter Martin Bashir’s interview with the late Princess Diana.

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Kim Leadbeater, the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, is Labour's candidate in the forthcoming Batley and Spen by-election.