Argy-bargy over claims Cox lives on Thames boat

Argy-bargy over claims Cox lives on Thames boat

A ROW erupted in Batley and Spen this week about whether an election candidate is “local”.

Tories accused Labour’s Jo Cox of “cynically misleading” voters over where she lives.

The former Oxfam head of policy was also said by the Tories not to be registered to vote here.

It rested on claims that Mrs Cox lives with her family on a houseboat moored on the River Thames.

Tories said checks showed fees for the “exclusive” London site were as high as £5,210 a month in October, 2013.

In response, Labour said Mrs Cox lives in Roberttown and that she is on the electoral register here.

As a result, the Tories partially retracted a statement sent to the media on Tuesday.

But they maintained an attack on the former Heckmondwike Grammar School pupil as being in conflict with Kirklees Council.

The statement said: “Mrs Cox was parachuted into the constituency as part of an all-women shortlist against the wishes of the local Labour Party.

“And (she) has found herself in constant conflict with Labour-controlled Kirklees Council, where half of the cabinet, including the leader of the council, represent wards in the constituency.”

Tory candidate Imtiaz Ameen is from Dewsbury and was the candidate for Blackburn in 2010.

Mrs Cox’s LinkedIn page states that since becoming Labour’s nominee she has worked for two international charities.

She was an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from September last year to March.

And from January to September, 2014, she was an advisor to anti-slavery campaign group The Freedom Fund.

A spokesman for Mrs Cox said: “That’s what’s at the heart of this malicious attack – the Tories are suffering from candidate envy.

“As the Tories have been told already, Jo is currently living in Roberttown, where she is registered to vote.

“And she makes no secret of the fact that she has been living on a barge for the past few years.

“If elected she’ll split her time between her home here and the Commons, like every other MP.

“She has lived and worked all over the world and makes no apology for having a successful career.

“This anti-aspirational attack by the Tories doesn’t show Jo’s weaknesses but her strengths.”

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