'Lockdown delay is failing local businesses,' says Kim
Kim Leadbeater, Labour candidate in the Batley and Spen by-election, has said she is disappointed the Government is failing local businesses and employees with the delay to unlocking Covid restrictions.
Following the decision that furlough and other support will not be extended alongside the delay in lifting the remaining lockdown restrictions, Ms Leadbeater said: “The Conservatives are leaving local business and their workers to pay the price of the delay in lifting Covid restrictions.
"It is absolutely right that people’s health is protected, but employers and families here in Batley and Spen shouldn’t be faced with extra financial burdens that they just can’t afford.
“This constituency needs change to make sure politics works for local people. And this is a change that cannot wait.
“Labour has rightly pointed the finger at the Government’s failure to close the borders to visitors from India in time to keep the new variant in check. This comes on top of their confused and misleading messages to people here about local restrictions.
“The immediate priority is that people locally shouldn’t suffer any further as a result of these failings.
"Conservative ministers must change their position and make sure our local businesses have the support they need to get through these next few weeks.”
Ms Leadbeater spoke about the challenges of operating during the pandemic when she visited Cutwell, a tool distributor, in Cleckheaton this week.
She said: “Jobs and opportunities for young people are something I’m passionate about.
"The pandemic has made it hard for students to plan for their futures. But Cutwell has a brilliant training and apprenticeship scheme and they are really committed to making sure that young people are given the skills and support the need to develop their careers.
“This is exactly the kind of work I want to support and build on as MP. I will bring together schools, colleges and businesses in Batley and Spen to maximise the opportunities for children from all backgrounds.”
Her plan for Batley and Spen includes an annual jobs fair, and making training and retraining a priority.
She added: “I want to make sure people have the opportunity to do what I did and get a second chance at education so they have the skills they need.
"I will work with colleges and employers to bring more training hubs to the area.”