Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox made her maiden speech in the House of Commons this month, celebrating cultural diversity but also highlighting economic hardship in the area.
“It is a great privilege to be called to make my maiden speech,” she said.
“Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration, be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir.
“While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”
“The spirit of non-conformity is as prevalent now in my part of West Yorkshire as it was in the time of my two immediate predecessors, Mike Wood and Elizabeth Peacock. They were both known for offering their own brand of independent, non-conformist service, albeit in very different ways.
“I intend to maintain that established tradition in my own unique style.”
“However, what many of our businesses are lacking is confidence: confidence to expand; confidence to borrow; confidence to grow; and the confidence to fuel a real economic recovery that benefits everybody, offering decent jobs, paying decent wages and bridging the skills gap.
“Key to changing that situation is a fundamental shift in attitude towards regional economic regeneration. It is time to give city and county regions the powers and resources they need to promote growth, and I will happily work with all of those who are genuinely committed to building an economic powerhouse in the north.”
“I am Batley and Spen born and bred, and I could not be prouder of that. I am proud that I was made in Yorkshire and I am proud of the things we make in Yorkshire. Britain should be proud of that, too. I look forward to representing the great people of Batley and Spen here over the next five years.”
Ms Cox this week nominated left-winger Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership election, but was quick to talk down her support for the Islington North MP.
She told our reporter on Twitter: “I nominated him to get him on the ballot so Labour members could have a broad debate, but won’t be voting for him.
“I’m going to see how the public respond to all candidates over the next few weeks and then decide.”