By-election in Jo Cox’s former constituency is contested by former British First Deputy Jayda Fransen
An ex-Britain First deputy will contest a by-election in the former constituency of slain MP Jo Cox.
Jayda Fransen, the former deputy leader of the far-right fascist group, is set to run for the seat of Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire.
The seat once belonged to former Labor politician Jo Cox – who was murdered in 2016 by far-right knifeman Thomas Mair while a sitting MP.
Mair, who had ties to the neo-Nazi group National Alliance, yelled “Britain first” before attacking and killing Ms Cox.
The far-right groups the British National Party (BNP) and the National Front contested the 2016 by-election in the wake of Ms Cox’s murder.
Labor’s Tracy Brabin won the seat, while the other major parties refused to recruit candidates out of respect for Ms Cox. And she was later re-elected in the 2019 general election.
But Ms Brabin is now stepping down from her role as MP after winning the West Yorkshire mayor’s seat in last month’s local elections.
French far-right, 35, will face Ms Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, who represents Labour, while the other major parties have also announced candidates.
Jayda Fransen (pictured), former deputy leader of the far-right fascist group, will run for election in Batley and Spen
The constituency was once that of former Labor politician Jo Cox (pictured) – who was murdered in 2016 by far-right knifeman Thomas Mair (pictured right) while a sitting MP
The history of the Batley and Spen constituency – once the seat of the murdered MP Jo Cox
Batley and Spen is a parliamentary seat in the rolling Pennines area of West Yorkshire.
The seat, which has an electorate of approximately 80,000 people, was established in 1983 and includes towns such as Batley and Cleckheaton.
It was previously covered by the parliamentary seats of Batley and Morley, Brighouse and Spenborough and Dewsbury.
The seat was initially Conservative and held by MP Elizabeth Peacock until ousted by Labor in the 1997 landslide.
It has been Labor ever since, but the party has recently seen a decline in its majority and is now considered a prime target for the Conservatives.
In 2015, the seat was won by Jo Cox, with a majority of 6,000.
Ms Cox was murdered in 2016 by far-right knifeman Thomas Mair.
Tracy Brabin, a former actress on Coronation Street, was elected to the seat the same year with a majority of 16,000 – after major parties chose not to contest the by-election in the wake of Ms Cox’s death.
Far-right groups such as the BNP and the Front National put forward candidates, but neither received more than 600 votes.
Ms Brabin’s majority was reduced to 8,000 when the major parties ran candidates against her in the 2017 general election, and to 3,500 in 2019.
Fransen announced in an email that she would be participating in next month’s by-election: ‘Jayda Fransen stands up for the forgotten people of the British, Christian, Batley and Spen! For God and Britannia.’
Her bid, as a representative of the British Freedom Party, comes just weeks after she unsuccessfully stood up to Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow Southside.
Fransen received a paltry 46 votes, which is even less than the 56 she received in the Rochester and Strood by-election in 2014, when she was outvoted by the Monster Raving Loony Party.
Ahead of last month’s election, Sturgeon described her opposition, who has been permanently banned from Twitter, as a “racist” and a “fascist.”
Fransen came into the public eye about ten years ago because of her involvement with the English Defense League, a far-right, Islamophobic organization.
She then joined the fascist political organization Britain First, where she was deputy leader under Paul Golding between 2014 and 2019.
In addition to the 2014 by-election and the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, Fransen also ran unsuccessfully in the 2016 London Assembly elections.
In addition to online anti-Muslim activism, she marched while holding a white cross through Muslim-populated areas of Britain.
In March 2018, she was sentenced to 36 weeks in prison after being convicted of three counts of religiously aggravated harassment.
The tragic Labor politician was shot and stabbed to death by far-right extremist Thomas Mair who shouted ‘Britain first’ during the June 2016 attack.
Mair’s trial was told a witness heard him yell, ‘Britain first, this is for Britain, Britain will always come first’ as he launched his fatal attack.
Mrs. Cox, a mother of two, was on her way to a voter meeting in a library when Mair attacked her.
She had only been an MP for about a year and won the Batley and Spen seat in the 2015 general election.
It was previously owned by Labor fanatic Mike Wood, who won the seat from conservative Elizabeth Peacock.
French far-rights will face Ms Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater (pictured), who is championing Labour, while the other major parties have also announced their candidates
Broadcaster and ex-Labour politician George Galloway (pictured) will run for Britain’s Independence Party, while Corey Robinson will stand for the Yorkshire Party
In the upcoming midterm elections, due on July 1, Ryan Stephenson is the Conservative candidate, while Jo Conchie is running for the Liberal Democrats.
Broadcaster and ex-Labour politician George Galloway will run for Britain’s Independence Party, while Corey Robinson will stand for the Yorkshire Party.
Labor will defend a 3,525 majority over the Conservatives in the 2019 general election.
And the by-election will be seen as an important test for Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer after the party’s devastating defeat in Hartlepool.
The seat has been red since 1997 and another defeat in the election is likely to add to the heat for Sir Keir, who is already under pressure.