Sal Brinton congratulates Labour’s Tracy Brabin on being elected in Jo Cox’s old seat

There was another parliamentary by-election last night. Batley and Spen in Yorkshire was contested to elect an MP to replace Jo Cox, who was murdered going about her MP’s duties in June this year.

The Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Conservatives did not fight the by-election, as a mark of respect to the late Jo Cox. Labour’s Tracy Brabin won with 17,506 votes – a majority of 16,537.

Sal Brinton, President of the Liberal Democrats, said:

I want to congratulate Tracy Brabin for her victory in the Batley & Spen by-election. This is an election we wish had never happened and this is why the Liberal Democrats decided not to stand.

Parliament, public life more widely and a young family were robbed of Jo Cox. She was a strong, brilliant voice for progressive politics, and we are much poorer without her.

The result tonight is an appropriate response to an utterly evil act of hate committed on our streets.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Parliamentary by-elections.


  • Let us hope that the election of a soap star does not spread to the USA in three weeks time!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 21st Oct '16 - 1:05pm

    Tony ,above , do not compare the talent of a fine actress and person, the new MP , with that of a property and media mogul , ie Trump, someone without the ability of a successful businessman , let alone , creative performer .Acting is a craft and an art , the fact that someone has had some success with it in a continuing television drama of quality , does not render your comparison a good one in any way.

    As a fellow performer , myself committed to my politics , as an admirer of Jo Cox, deeply saddened by her loss, and as a past member of the Labour party ,and a Liberal Democrat, strongly in favour of cooperation between parties, I congratulate the excellent Tracy Brabin, on her election, and thank Sal Brinton for her poignant remarks.

  • 25% turn out in Batley. Hardly a great endorsement for Ms Brabin who loves Yorkshire spo much she even lives in North London.

  • Matt (Bristol) 21st Oct '16 - 1:34pm

    Melissa – I think we should avoid commenting on Labour’s candidate selection process and the person and actions of their candidate and now MP under the circumstances. Potshots from the sidelines help no-one.

    We will have to see how her commitment to the constituency works out after a ‘return to normal’ in a future election, but we should wish her and the constituency all the best. Not standing a candidate was the right thing to do, but a withdrawal of other major parties would be expected to lead to low turnout.

    No surprise there, nothing to carp about.

    Jo Cox held positions that made her relatively close to some Lib Dems’ agenda and values. Tracey Brabin is a new person in a new situation, but we should not attack her until she has a record of action on which we can comment and – if necessary – criticise.

  • Jayne Mansfield 21st Oct '16 - 1:38pm

    @ Melissa H,
    She obviously took Norman Tebbit’s advice and got on her bike.

    I am afraid that London is a magnet for many who wish to work in entertainment and the media , and with good reason. Even in London, those I know spend a great deal of their time ‘resting’, i.e. working in offices and the service industry.

  • Peter Watson 21st Oct '16 - 1:50pm

    @Melissa H “Hardly a great endorsement for Ms Brabin who loves Yorkshire spo much she even lives in North London.”
    And who is a woman who was born and raised in the constituency that she now represents, all qualities that I’m sure Lib Dems would love to see in their own MPs. As others have said, the turnout does not mean much, but it is very good that enough people turned out to ensure that far-right candidates lost their deposits.
    Sal Brinton’s comments reflect a much better type of politics than we often see in this country and are to be applauded.

  • Jayne Mansfield 21st Oct '16 - 2:40pm

    I was remiss in not mentioning the very important point that Peter Watson made.

    When I read Sal Brinton’s post, I was immediately struck by the decency and its magnanimity. Politics at its best.

    My thoughts and the thoughts of many others, will have been with Jo Cox’s grieving family as they marked yet another sad milestone following her death.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 21st Oct '16 - 7:28pm

    Melissa H

    The turnout was very disappointing, as is your comment on where Tracy Brabin lives. She is from Batley, the constituency she is now the MP for ,born in the area, and as a working and jobbing actress ,and , at certain times , a writer, involved in television ,not a so-called soap star, it makes sense that she obviously needs to be as near to or in London , to work !

    I act and write , and I can assure you , as one who moved from London to Nottingham some years ago , if I did not generate and create my own work , I would not get any , in either city, as the field is so precarious! At least in London the networking is possible to a far greater extent , and the logistics make it necessary often , for too many, to have to be mainly ,or wholly , based there . Job insecurity , unemployment , or badly paid work, is regularly the norm . But , even though justified in of itself , it is the news of steel workers losing a job , or farmers losing a subsidy , that get the concern of the parties and media , who are themselves , part of the myth – making feeding frenzy ! But who cares about the fact that dedicated professionals in the most lop-sided and unequal area of professional expertise , have to justify either their personal commitment or political convictions , or the other way around !

    I do think it would be far better if people would develop some understanding of the reality of the working , and very often , alas, not working , lives of those of us in the creative field. It is one that generates very many millions in revenue, and is worth billions ,that rarely find their way into the pockets of the wider participants in it. Sometimes it is a struggle made all the worse by the stereotypes whether successful or not !

    And why this parochial obsession with people having to be in and of a constituency anyway , or always , as if to care about or grasp the issues in an area, is beyond the capability of a talented political activist. It goes too far when calling into question peoples suitability. David Cameron was not from Witney, and won far better majorities than the new Tory mp from there ! Ditto lots of excellent parliamentarians.

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