I’ve seen some surreal episodes in the twelve years I’ve worked in Parliament and the way things are right now, nothing would surprise me in British politics.
I still had to do a double take today though when I saw the newly sworn in Tricia Armstrong – I mean Tracy Brabin – MP take her place in the House of Commons as the Honourable Member for Batley and Spen.
Tracy was elected Labour MP for the Yorkshire constituency in Thursday’s by-election, which was prompted by the tragic death of Jo Cox in June this year.
Born in Batley, Tracy Brabin is a long-time member of the Labour Party who had campaigned for her friend Jo at the 2015 general election. Tracy is an experienced campaigner with a history in the trade union movement.
Ms Brabin showed great courage in defeating the handful of far-right candidates who tried to disrupt her message of standing up together for Batley and Spen. All those fascists were bound to lose and lose they did - Tracy won 85.8% of the vote while none of the candidates from the far right gained enough votes to retain their deposits. The newly elected MP declared it a victory for “unity and hope”.
Since being elected, Labour’s newest MP has said, “Jo Cox will never be forgotten. In her memory it is my duty to work tirelessly for local people and always be a champion for the place I’m so proud to call home.”
It’s that fighting spirit and loyalty towards those around her that we Corrie fans found so endearing about Tricia Armstrong.
Although politics might seem like a soap opera at times, it’s actually a very serious business and never more so than at the present uncertain time. I am sure that Tracy will do a great job.
By Martin Leay
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