“BE careful what you wish for” couldn’t be a more relevant phrase for Keir Starmer and the Labour Party, after Tracy Brabin’s election victory in West Yorkshire now means she must vacate her Parliamentary seat.
In what could reasonably be described as a foolish move by the already failing party, Brabin was selected as the candidate for the West Yorkshire mayoral race – winning her seat today with 60.1% of the vote.
Unfortunately for Labour, however, who had been banking on a successful set of local elections this month, Brabin will now be forced to automatically resign from her seat in Westminster, triggering another by-election after Tories took the seat of Hartlepool.
Her now former constituency, Batley and Spen, has been heavily targeted by the Conservatives, and is a marginal seat that pundits predict could easily now turn blue.
Ms Brabin, a former Coronation Street actress, entered the House of Commons in 2016 after being elected to replace MP Jo Cox following Cox’s tragic and horrific murder during the EU referendum.
She served in the shadow cabinet under both Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Keir Starmer, but resigned her frontbench position in December 2020 to concentrate on her campaign for the mayoralty.
The newly-elected mayor said: “It is an honour I cannot put into words.”
Her Party leader, however, is unlikely to have much to say on the matter, with the alarm bells now ringing in Labour HQ undoubtedly further agitating his ever-intensifying migraine.