Labour’s Batley & Spen nominees set to face members

Labour’s Batley & Spen nominees set to face members

BIRSTALL-BASED councillor Alison Lowe hopes to stop the rise of a celebrity-backed election candidate.

Ms Lowe, who serves the Armley ward on Leeds City Council, is on a shortlist of just two to be Labour’s nominee for Batley and Spen.

The party need a successor to MP Mike Wood, who has announced he will retire at next year’s general election.

Ms Lowe is the executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services on Leeds City Council.

She is also chairman of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, which holds police commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson to account.

Her registry of interests shows she is chief executive of mental health charity Touchstone Leeds.

The group offers support for residents in Kirklees from a base on Wellington Road, Dewsbury.

She said: “The constituency of Batley and Spen is really special. It deserves a candidate that will work hard to keep it Labour and also honour Mike Wood’s legacy by being a fantastic constituency MP.”

Meanwhile, Ms Cox, 39, is being supported by several Kirklees councillors, including Spen Valley area committee chairman Coun Steve Hall.

She is also backed by broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and former party leader Neil Kinnock and wife Glenys, the ex-Euro MP.

Mr Kinnock said: “I know Jo well and I’ve seen her fight for Labour values in this country and around the world.

“In my time I’ve seen a lot of campaigners, very few are as impressive as her. She would make an outstanding MP.”

Both candidates, who made the final cut from a field of five, will make their case to party members on May 10.

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