No Kirklees 'Brexit party'

No Kirklees 'Brexit party'
By Tony Earnshaw 
Local Democracy Reporter

BREXIT Day will not officially be marked in Kirklees. 

Asked if bells will be rung today (Friday) at any of the borough’s town halls the Labour-run authority confirmed it has “no plans for any such activity”.

But Leavers are likely to celebrate privately, even if Remainers do not. Coun John Taylor, deputy leader of the Kirklees Council Tory group, said: “I think it is appropriate that the Brexit Day is marked nationally and I support the Government initiatives but feel that locally we should all be able to mark the day as individuals.

“I will be celebrating, alongside many of my colleagues. I recognise that this will not be universally welcomed across the political spectrum and would wish to avoid embroiling Kirklees in an unnecessary argument.”

Coun Andrew Cooper, leader of the Green group, had a markedly different response.

He said: “Boris Johnson may think it is appropriate to have a countdown clock and mint a special 50p piece but I don’t.

“He said he wanted to get Brexit done. 

“It seems rather that he wants to rub the noses in it of the millions of us who didn’t support Brexit.”

Coun John Lawson (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton), also gave a categoric “no”. He said: “Enough time and money has been wasted already on Brexit without wasting more officer time and money from the public purse.”

Coun Shabir Pandor (Lab), Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “There was talk nationally of making Big Ben chime on Friday. That plan was dropped because it would have cost half a million pounds.

“January 31 will be a historic moment. The great public are very sensible. 

“They will pull together and make the best of Brexit. It’s been an exhausting three years and people want closure. Now we need to respect the democratic decision and move forward.” 

Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin (Lab) urged people to work towards a united future once the Union flag no longer flies in Brussels. Ms Brabin said: “I have my usual busy day in the constituency on Friday and, as always, encourage everyone to look positively to the future.” 

Dewsbury’s newly-elected Tory MP Mark Eastwood, who was a member of the Leave campaign, said Brexit should be celebrated “after three-and-a-half years of frustration.”

He added: “From a personal point of view I’ll be celebrating with a beer or two with Conservative Party colleagues and councillors on Friday evening.”

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