Kim leadbeater

The price Labour paid for victory in Batley

While Labour’s narrow victory in Batley and Spen will mostly be analysed through the prism of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership, a more compelling fault line is the apparent estrangement of some Muslim voters from a party that has until now been able to rely on their support. Labour may have held on but it also showed its hand. During the campaign, Labour’s candidate Kim Leadbeater posed for a photograph with local campaigners sporting T-shirts that depicted Israel as ‘Palestine’, issued both a leaflet and a letter touting her pro-Palestinian credentials (by heaping scorn on Israel, naturally), and defended a grim leaflet clearly geared towards tapping into anti-Hindu and anti-Indian prejudices.

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