Former Conservative Mayor backs Labour candidate in by-election

Kim Leadbeater’s campaign in the Batley and Spen by-election has won the support of former Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors in the constituency.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 4:00 pm
Kim Leadbeater, Labour's candidate in the upcoming Batley and Spen by-election, taking part in a litter pick in Heckmondwike earlier this month

Geoff Alvy, former Liberal Democrat councillor for Batley West, described Ms Leadbeater’s record in the community in recent years as “exceptional”.

Speaking ahead of next week's poll, he said: “The Lib Dems have little chance of winning here, however well they have done elsewhere.

Kim Leadbeater is one of our own. She understands local concerns because they are her concerns as somebody who has lived here all her life.

“She has been campaigning on many of the issues I raised on the council, issues that remain highly relevant to the everyday lives of local people.

“Like the need to have safer streets, with more police and better funding for neighbourhood policing and tackling anti-social behaviour.

“And protecting our green spaces from inappropriate developments.

“She would represent the whole community, healing divisions and working for a better future for all our lovely towns and villages.”

Andrew Palfreman, former Conservative Mayor of Kirklees, who lives in Birkenshaw, said: “There is more to Batley and Spen than the centre of Batley and what voters have consistently wanted is an MP who might be not be favourite with the Whips but who lives, breathes and stands up for the local community.

“In my opinion there is only one of those on offer - but naming her would not please the party I represented and served for all those years.”