Shadow Foreign Secretary slams pandemic response on Birstall visit

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy visited Batley and Spen this morning (Friday) to campaign with Kim Leadbeater, Labour's candidate in the upcoming by-election.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy

As well as knocking on doors and talking to local people, they called into Knights Pharmacy in Birstall to meet the team and volunteers running its vaccination centre.

Ms Leadbeater praised the pharmacy and the work it has been doing rolling out the vaccination and keeping people safe.

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Ms Nandy said: “The Prime Minister’s failure to secure our borders and protect us from the delta variant has directly impacted people here in Batley and Spen.

“People here have had enough of confused messaging about local restrictions and the lack of support for local businesses with the delay to opening up.

“Boris Johnson was more interested in cosying up to Narendra Modi than keeping out the Indian variant.

“The last thing Batley and Spen needs is another Tory MP blindly toeing the party line instead of standing up for local people.

“A vote for any other candidate risks this seat being represented by an outsider who can’t begin to understand the needs of Batley and Spen.

“But Kim will stand up for local people. She’s born and bred here and will be a champion for local people.

"She’ll put Batley and Spen first, no matter what.”

Ms Leadbeater, who is hoping to defend the seat for Labour at next month's poll, said: "Our NHS has done a fantastic job delivering the vaccine programme, not least through community pharmacies such as Knights here in Birstall.

“The team - and all the volunteers who've helped - have led an amazing response to the pandemic and worked hard to keep local people safe. They've really done us proud."