A CONSERVATIVE councillor has sparked controversy after claiming that his party should be contesting the Batley and Spen by-election.
Following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, the Tories, UKIP, Lib Dems and the Green Party all said they would not be fielding a candidate on October 20 in respect of the mother of two.
Simon Cooke, leader of the Conservatives on Bradford Council, criticised his party for not contesting the seat.
In a series of remarks on Twitter, he said: "My party should be contesting the Batley and Spen by-election. Absolutley no justification for giving Labour a free pass.
"And don't give me all that 'shared values' nonsense either. If you're a centre left charity lobbyist I probably don't share your values.
"But then 'values' never fed the starving, housed the homeless or cured the sick.
"And as for the 'hate speech' stuff. This is just a straight up attack on free speech. I definitely don't share that value."
Coun Cooke defended his comments, stating that there had been four political assassinations in his lifetime and this would be the first time a by-election would go uncontested.