Labour candidate criticised by chair for last-minute decision after previously confirming attendance
Labour candidate Kim Leadbeater has been criticised as ‘disrespectful’ by the chair of tonight’s Batley and Spen by-election hustings for pulling out at the last minute – after her attendance had earlier been confirmed.
The chair told the audience, which included many Muslim voters, that Leadbeater – and her Tory equivalent – had dropped out with only half an hour before the hustings was scheduled to begin and that when ‘every vote counts’ in the by-election, he considered this a sign of disrespect:
Keir Starmer – who has described himself as an ‘unequivocal’ supporter of Israel – has attempted in the last two PMQs to convince Batley and Spen’s 20% Muslim population that he is in favour of Palestinian statehood, but without actually calling for it to be recognised.
Now his efforts to appeal to – some might say ‘fool’ – the constituency’s Muslims look to have been undone by a show of disrespect by the candidate, who dropped out rather than turn up to face the one opponent who did attend.
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