Dr Ann Myatt
Dr Ann Myatt offends Batley and Spen constituents as she jokes about death in the seat where Jo Cox served. Screenshot

A Conservative candidate standing in Jo Cox's former seat for Parliament has caused outrage after joking that no one has been killed in the campaign yet.

Dr Ann Myatt was speaking at a hustings debate for the Batley and Spen election, where the former MP was shot and killed by far-right terrorist Thomas Mair last year, before making the remark.

Myatt was asked about Islamophobia at the event on Monday (29 May) when she said: "Well certainly as far as integration is going, this sort of evening is absolutely first rate.

"Because we have here people of all faiths, we have here people from different parts of the community and we have not yet shot anybody so that's wonderful."

As Myatt can be seen smiling at her own joke, but when her remarks sink in, gasps start to come from the audience.

Labour candidate Tracy Brabin, the former Coronation Street star who was nominated by the party to fill the void left by Cox, could also be seen turning her head away from Myatt.

David Keeton, a Labour Party member who also sits on the More In Common committee that fights racial division, told the Mirror: "My initial reaction at what she said was shock, then utter abhorrence that someone could say such a thing under any circumstances, let alone here less than a year after our wonderful MP Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right terrorist.

"For my wife and I, it was made all the more personal as we knew Jo well – we were last with her the evening before she was killed.

"The Tories have parachuted in a candidate for this election who knows nothing about the area and clearly knows even less about the people here."

Myatt later apologised "unreservedly" for her "stupid comment".

"Sorry, what I'm saying is this is a very good example of how you can come together," she said.

"This happens to be about politics but if you could have things, as you said, about cricket and about maybe cooking – you know, that wonderful lady who won the Bake Off. All sorts of things.

"Maybe some of it would be about things rather than difference - things that we share, things that we have."

When she was pressed to apologise by a member of the audience, Myatt said: "I apologise unreservedly for a stupid comment. I was apologising before I passed on the microphone. I'm really sorry."

Myatt stood against Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron in the 2015 election, but lost by a margin of 8,949 votes.