IT HAS been an emotional summer for the newly elected Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin.
But following her landslide victory, the former actress claims she is “energised” and ready to get to work.
And within hours of the by-election result she was out and about on the streets of her constituency with her new colleagues.
Joined by Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson she wasted no time in thanking those who had shown her support during her election campaign.
As the only mainstream candidate to contest the seat, Ms Brabin secured a comfortable win for Labour.
Turnout was low at only 26 per cent, but she nevertheless crossed the finish line with 17,506 votes – 16,500 more than her nearest rival.
Taking to the stage in the early hours of Friday morning for her acceptance speech, the 55-year-old began by paying tribute to her former friend and predecessor Jo Cox.
She lamented the “bitter-sweet” nature of her victory, but said she hoped “Jo would be proud”.
“This has been a difficult experience for all of us, and tonight is a bitter-sweet occasion for me.
“That this by-election has had to take place at all is a tragedy,” she said.
“We are still all reeling from the shock of losing such a wonderful person and fantastic MP.
“This will be a particularly difficult day for Jo’s family and friends, and I want to pay tribute to them – we are all thinking of you and will always stand side by side with you.
“I am deeply touched by how you have welcomed me and given so much to this campaign in such sad circumstances. I will work tirelessly for you.”
Her triumph was marred by the actions of some of the heckles from her rival opponents.
But Ms Brabin told The Yorkshire Post that their attempts to stir up “division and hatred” only served to give her “more steel”.
Looking forward to next week, the newly elected Batley and Spen MP said she was feeling “energised and excited” to get down to work.
But she added that she will have to “hit the ground running”, as her official swearing in ceremony looks set to be held on Monday.
Ms Brabin, who was born in Batley and worked with Mrs Cox on her campaign to save the town’s library, also said she had already received countless congratulatory messages from actors, friends, directors and MPs since the landslide result was announced.
But she suggested it is the reaction of her daughters which will mean the most to her.
“Everyone’s very excited as you can imagine, but having daughters it means a lot,” she explained.
“I’m hoping to say to them ‘I never expected to end up here, but if you believe in something and you’re committed to it and you work hard there’s no knowing what you can achieve’.”
As part of her campaign she promised to be a “loud, proud and strong Yorkshire voice”.
And Ms Brabin has pointed to her friend Jo Cox as the inspiration behind her decision to run for the West Yorkshire seat.
And yesterday she told The Yorkshire Post that the outgoing First Lady, Michelle Obama, is another key political role model.
“She’s just wise and grateful,” she said. “
And her phrase ‘when they go low, we go high’? I had that in my mind last night,”
She also dismissed any concerns about ongoing turmoil in the Parliamentary Labour Party.
She believes there has been a significant “sea change” since conference, stating that it “feels like we’re now taking the battle to the Conservatives”.
ANTI, Corbyn: English Independence – 241
BRABIN, Tracy:Labour – 17,506
BUCKBY, Jack: Liberty GB – 220
EDMONDS, Richard: National Front – 87
FURNESS, David: BNP – 548
HIRST, Therese: English Democrats – 969
KHAN, Waqas Ali: Independent – 118
KITCHIN, Garry: Independent – 517
LOVE, Ankit: One Love Party – 34
MAYHEW, Henry: Independent – 153