Kim Leadbeater plans to stand in the Batley and Spen constituency that her sister Jo Cox represented
A charity founder is set to stand as an MP in memory of her sister.
Kim Leadbeater has announced she hopes to stand for Labour in the forthcoming Batley and Spen by-election.
Leadbeater is founder of the Batley-based Jo Cox Foundation. She founded the charity after her sister Jo Cox was murdered while serving as an MP.
The seat became vacant at the weekend when Labour’s Tracy Brabin, MP for the last four years, stood down after being elected the first Mayor of West Yorkshire.
Brabin took over from her friend Jo Cox, who had only been the MP for 13 months when she was shot and repeatedly stabbed by a right-wing extremist in Birstall in June 2016.
Leadbeater was awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours last December for services to social cohesion, the community in Batley and Spen and combating loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She told the Batley and Birstall News: “I’ve been moved by how many local people from across the area, many Labour Party members but others too, have been in touch asking me if I would stand.
“It has knocked me for six. I would love to represent this extraordinary, vibrant place that I have called home all my life. I am touched that so many people seem to think I would do a good job and I can promise that if they want me, I will give my all for Batley and Spen at Westminster.
“The truth is, I have never really seen myself as a political animal, but I care deeply about the area where I was born and have always lived, and where the people are second to none.
"Through all the work I have done with Jo’s foundation over the past five years I have met so many truly fantastic people. This community picked me up when I needed it most and I will be forever grateful.”