Batley East councillor to stand for Labour nomination in by-election

Coun Habiban Zaman has said "it would be the biggest honour of my life" to serve Batley and Spen in Parliament as she enters the race for the Labour nomination at the upcoming by-election.

Habiban Zaman, a Labour councillor for Batley East, has entered the race to be the party's candidate at the upcoming Batley and Spen by-election

Coun Zaman, who is a Labour councillor in Batley East, will go up against Kim Leadbeater, sister of murdered former MP Jo Cox, in a bid to become the party's candidate in the Batley and Spen by-election later this year.

Labour is expected to announce its candidate on Sunday (May 23).

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In a statement, Coun Zaman said becoming the constituency's new MP would "show more young women and girls from BAME backgrounds that there is no limit to what you can achieve".

She said: "It's been my honour and privilege to work with communities in Batley and Spen for the past 30 years, working as a council officer, a local councillor and working on various campaigns across the Kirklees area.

"I know that the people of Batley and Spen rejected hate on so many occasions, and I was privileged to work with Mike Wood, Jo Cox and Tracy Brabin in the constituency, working to drive out hatred and empower women and those from BAME backgrounds, being awarded the British Empire Medal and a British Community Honours Award for this work.

"The next Labour candidate for Batley and Spen will need to be someone who has their ear to the ground and can speak for our communities in Westminster, as well as speak to our communities about what the party is doing for them.

"Without that strong community link, we risk Batley and Spen becoming another constituency that feels left behind by the party, and we have seen the dangers that these feelings lead to.

"I’ve been honoured to have been asked to stand by so many local activists and community leaders, and I honestly feel that the work I have done in bringing our communities together, both here in Batley and Spen and across the North of England, shows that I can be the person that can be our voice down in Westminster.

"I’ve lived in the local area for 52 years, and it would be the biggest honour of my life to serve Batley and Spen in Parliament, and show more young women and girls from BAME backgrounds that there is no limit to what you can achieve.”