Former Coronation Street actress wins UK by-election to replace Jo Cox

Tracy Brabin pays tribute to late Labour MP as she takes her seat

Former Coronation Street actress wins UK by-election to replace Jo Cox

Batley and Spen by-election Labour candidate Tracy Brabin | Photo: PA Wire

UK Labour's Tracy Brabin has won a by-election in Batley and Spen, replacing MP Jo Cox who was killed in June.

The former Coronation Street actress held the seat for Labour with a comfortable 82% of the vote after the Conservatives, Lib Dems and UKIP decided not to put up candidates in a mark of respect to the late MP.

Ms Brabin paid tribute to Jo Cox in her victory speech, saying her win was "bittersweet".

"This has been a difficult experience for all of us and tonight is a bittersweet occasion for me. That this by-election has had to take place at all is a tragedy," she said.

Ms Brabin finished ahead of English Democrat Therese Hirst and eight other independent and fringe party candidates, including representatives of the far-right National Front and BNP.

Her acceptance speech was marred by occasional heckles from supporters of her opponents.

Mrs Cox was killed in her constituency just days before the EU referendum. 

As she left a library in the Leeds village of Birstall, she was shot and stabbed to death.

Mrs Cox's widower Brendan congratulated Ms Brabin on her victory.

He tweeted: "Well done @Tracy4MP & great to see all the purveyors of hate lose their deposits."

After the result, Mr Cox also tweeted a picture of him and his wife at the 2015 general election count.

The vote coincided with another by-election in Witney, Oxfordshire, to replace former Prime Minister David Cameron who gave up the seat last month.

Larry Sanders, the older brother of the former US presidential candidate, secured just under 4% of the vote for the Green Party, coming in in fourth position.

The seat was won by the Conservative candidate, Robert Court.