Kim Leadbeater and decency triumphed, but lessons must be learned from an ugly campaign
Last week Labour defied expectations and narrowly won the byelection in Batley and Spen. It is first and foremost a victory for Kim Leadbeater, sister of the murdered MP Jo Cox, who ran a dignified, unifying campaign in the face of homophobic and sexist abuse. But it is also likely to sufficiently shift the political narrative about Labour’s fortunes to buy Keir Starmer more time to present an alternative vision to the one propounded by the toxic, incompetent government of Boris Johnson.
Leadbeater has rightly won accolades for her positive and constructive campaign. It must have taken immense bravery to run in the parliamentary seat held by her sister, killed by a far-right terrorist in 2016. She has spent the years since her sister’s death leading the work of the Jo Cox Foundation in the local area to promote more compassionate and cohesive communities.