Candidates in Jo Cox's former seat pledge to campaign peacefully

All six candidates have signed the pledge

Monday, November 18, 2019

Candidates vying for the seat once held by murdered MP Jo Cox have signed a cross-party pledge to conduct their election campaigns peacefully.

The pledge commits the candidates to foster "constructive democratic debate" and to treat their opponents with dignity and respect in the run up to the December 12 poll.

It was signed by all six of those standing for the Batley and Spen seat outside Jo Cox House in Batley - close to where the 41-year-old Labour politician was shot and stabbed.

Mrs Cox, a mother-of-two, was elected as Batley and Spen MP in 2015, holding the seat until her murder by right-wing extremist, Thomas Mair, in the run up to the 2016 EU referendum.

Kim Leadbeater, the sister of Mrs Cox, said she hoped the agreement would "send a clear message to the country about the kind of democracy we all want" and that politicians should use facts instead of "rhetoric and violent language".

Candidates sign the pledge presented to them by Kim Leadbeater (centre)

She is hoping that political parties at a national level will sign up to similar pledges.

"As a community, we know the cost of political violence and it's very important that we ensure that no family has to go through what we've been through ever again," Ms Cox added.

"I think what has happened unfortunately in the last few years is that we've lost our way a little bit in terms of having robust, passionate and civilised debate.

"Some of the discussions have transcended into insults, personal attacks and, on some occasions, violence."

The Batley and Spen candidates that supported the pledge are: Ty Akram (Green Party), Tracy Brabin (Labour), Mark Brooks (Conservative), Paul Halloran (Batley Borough Independents), John Lawson (Liberal Democrat) and Clive Minihan (Brexit Party).

For the full list of election candidates standing in England, click here.

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