Batley and spen by-election

Labour’s worrying descent into communalism

Labour’s candidate in Batley and Spen, Kim Leadbeater, reportedly pulled out of a hustings featuring George Galloway over the weekend. This makes sense. Not only is Galloway a master of bluster whose pompous bombast has a steamroller quality in a debate, but Leadbeater would have been debating the person of whom she is currently doing a dubious impression. If the organisers were concerned about getting Labour’s perspective, they could have stuck a mirror in front of Galloway and given it equal time. The no-show came as Leadbeater, whose sister Jo Cox was murdered by a right-wing extremist five years ago, told the Independent: I think sadly there are a number

Nick Tyrone

Why the Unite election matters

Next Thursday, the voters of Batley and Spen will go to their polling stations ostensibly to pick their next MP — but at the same time, could decide the ultimate fate of Keir Starmer. If Labour lose the by-election, his leadership will face a whole new level of trouble. Yet despite the importance of this contest, there is another one that is about to properly kick-off that is even more key to Labour’s future — the race to become the next general secretary of Unite. The current general secretary of the largest trade union in Great Britain, Len McCluskey, is rightfully infamous. During his reign, he has tried to pull Labour