'What we're doing is exercising our democratic right', says chairman of Liberty GB on Batley and Spen election

'What we're doing is exercising our democratic right', says chairman of Liberty GB on Batley and Spen election

MP's paid tribute to Jo Cox after her murder

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

After the death of MP Jo Cox, the seat for Batley and Spen is vacant. 

Labour and the Conservatives have announced that they will not run candidates. Only one candidate has so far announced they will be running: Liberty GB's Jack Buckby. 

Paul Weston, chair of the Liberty GB party, spoke to Sam Delaney about why they wanted to run, after many commentators claimed that their actions are insensitive.

"What we are doing in a democratic nation, is exercising our democratic right," he said. 

"I imagine that the Conservatives are probably slightly frightened in the current atmosphere of looking insensitive.

"I would turn the around and say has there ever been in the history of democracy in Great Britain, a by-election being uncontested after the murder of an MP?

"Historically there has never been a suspended election in this country."

He believes it is important to voters to have candidates in the election.

"Jo Cox has 43 per cent of the electorate in her constituency, which means 57 per cent of people didn't vote for her.

"Are you seriously suggesting you should go to those 57 per cent of people who represent the majority of the electorate in her constituency, and say 'you are not allowed your democratic mandate to have someone representing your ideology'.

"When you have someone like Douglas Carswell who stood for UKIP, he was elected not because he stood for UKIP, but because he was a respected man in his constituency. So this goes above party politics, this is the beauty of British democracy.

"What would happens now in the case of the election is the Labour party is going to shoehorn anyone they like into that position because nobody is going to contest it. Don't you find that slightly undemocratic?"