Pro-Palestinian firebrand politician wins UK byelection in blow to main opposition Labour Party

Kim Leadbeater, the sister of a killed MP, won a critical byelection for the United Kingdom’s Labour Party after a bitter race marred by allegations of dirty tricks and hostility.

Leadbeater was declared the victor in Batley and Spen, a multiethnic constituency in northern England, with a majority of 323 votes after a recount. The victory is a major win for Labour leader Keir Starmer, who has struggled to unite his party since succeeding Jeremy Corbyn last year.

The seat was up for grabs following the resignation of MP Tracy Brabin, who stepped down after being elected Mayor of West Yorkshire.

George Galloway, a seasoned pro-Palestinian campaigner who has previously served as a Labour and Respect Party MP, had hoped to win the seat away from Labour by capitalizing on anger over Starmer’s perceived shift towards a pro-Israel position.

Galloway, though, finished third with around 8,000 votes, behind the Conservative Party candidate who harvested more than 12,000 votes. This result was seen by some as a blow to the main opposition Labour Party due to the swing towards the Conservatives, even though the party managed to hold onto the seat.

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