Sixteen candidates to fight Batley and Spen by-election (report)

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Sixteen candidates to fight Batley and Spen by-election (report)
Sixteen candidates to fight Batley and Spen by-election (report)

A total of 16 candidates will contest the Batley and Spen by-election, although the poll is being seen as a straight two-way fight between Labour and the Tories.

The full list of those nominated to stand on July 1 was published on Monday after rugby league international Ross Peltier had his candidacy revoked by the Green Party when it was revealed he made a series of “highly offensive” homophobic tweets as a teenager.

Mr Peltier, 29, a prop forward with Doncaster Dons and a Jamaica international, apologised for the “terrible” language used in the tweets and said “in no way” is he homophobic.

Labour is relying on Kim Leadbeater to hold the seat in what is being seen as a key test of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership after the party’s defeat in Hartlepool last month.

Ms Leadbeater is the sister of Jo Cox, who was the MP for Batley and Spen when she was murdered in the constituency in 2016.

Ms Leadbeater’s supporters pointed out she is the only candidate who has stated an address in the constituency.

The Tories are pinning their hopes on Leeds councillor Ryan Stephenson.

Former MP and veteran campaigner George Galloway is running for his Workers Party and the Lib Dems have selected Tom Gordon.

The Yorkshire Party, which came third in the recent West Yorkshire mayoral election, will be represented by local engineer Corey Robinson.

Reform UK and independent candidate Paul Halloran, who came third in the constituency in 2019, polling more than 6,000 votes, have both announced they will not stand in the by-election.

Earlier, the Green Party said it did “not feel it is right” for Mr Peltier to continue as the party’s candidate in the upcoming by-election.

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