Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater says collecting her MBE was ‘bittersweet’

Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater said collecting her MBE at Windsor Castle for her work tackling social isolation was “bittersweet”.

By Jessica Barton
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 1:00 pm
MP Kim Leadbeater collected her MBE at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.
MP Kim Leadbeater collected her MBE at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

Ms Leadbeater, who is also an ambassador of the Jo Cox Foundation, was honoured by the Queen on Tuesday, for her efforts in a time of national crisis.

Ms Leadbeater's sister, Jo Cox, was killed in 2016 when she was shot and stabbed outside her constituency surgery a week before the EU referendum.

Ms Leadbeater has represented the same seat occupied by her sister in Batley and Spen, since winning the by-election last summer.

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As well as representing her sister’s seat, Ms Leadbeater has also thrown herself into promoting causes her sister was passionate about, founding events to ease isolation.

Ms Leadbeater said: “Any occasion that I attend, particularly something of this magnitude, for me is always bittersweet, because ultimately, the fundamental reason I’m here is because of Jo’s murder.

"So, it’s an emotional day as well, but I also know that Jo would be incredibly proud of everything that we’ve done in her name.”

Ms Leadbeater said she would celebrate by doing Zoom calls with her parents and her sister’s children to “show them that auntie Kim has been to Windsor Castle, and was thinking about mummy and them”.

Ms Leadbeater helped fight social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic by founding the More In Common initiative and setting up a national coalition of organisations that joined forces to address the issue.