As we lose respect for our politicians, democracy itself is taking a hit | Polly Toynbee

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Matt Hancock needed to go. However the vitriolic byelection in Batley and Spen exhibits the risks of vilifying MPs

A senior politician plunges Icarus-like out of the sky – a reminder that few careers carry such excessive danger. Why would anybody do it?

On the primary rung of that political ladder, Labour candidate Kim Leadbeater faces the electors of Batley and Spen on Thursday. Nobody is aware of the hazards higher than she does, standing for the West Yorkshire seat the place her sister Jo Cox was brutally murdered. This marketing campaign has turned unexpectedly vicious and abusive. And on prime of that we’ve seen the explosive entry of George Galloway, now main his renamed Staff Social gathering of Britain, divisively concentrating on the “Muslim” vote.

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