Andy Burnham backs Kim Leadbeater to be Labour’s candidate in Batley and Spen by-election

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham today threw his weight behind Kim Leadbeater to be Labour’s candidate in the Batley and Spen by-election.

Kim Leadbeater. PIC: Gary Longbottom

The party’s national Executive will decide later today (May 22) on a shortlist of candidates to put to local members.

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Andy Burnham said: "There’s a big decision facing Labour Party members in Batley and Spen this weekend, but for what it’s worth I wanted to let you know that Kim has my full support. Kim is somebody absolutely rooted in your community.

"She’s lived there all her life. She’s not a typical politician. She’s someone who has been very much in the real world and is exactly the kind of voice Labour needs, both in your part of the world and in the north more broadly. I hope you’ll give her your support.’

In reply, Kim tweeted: "Thanks @AndyBurnham for supporting me in the Batley & Spen selection. As he says, I've lived here all my life. It would be an honour to be Labour’s candidate. It’s up to local members to decide. Whoever they choose there’ll be a brilliant team in place to keep B&S Labour."