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Labour Leadership Race: Who's in the running?

Labour Leadership Race: Who's in the running?

The race to become the next leader of the Labour Party is now well underway.

Labour MPs have been nominating colleagues to take the top job - but who could take over from Jeremy Corbyn?

 

Sir Kier Starmer MP

The MP for Holborn and St Pancras and Labour's shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Kier Starmer is seen by many as an early frontrunner in the race to become the next Labour leader. Starmer became a barrister in 1987 and in July 2008 he was named as the Director of Public Prosecutions. Sir Starmer was elected as an MP in May 2015 and has a majority of 27,763 in his constituency.

Sir Starmer was a supporter of the Remain campaign in the EU Referendum and he argued for Labour to support a referendum on the final Brexit deal. Since announcing his intention to stand to become the next Labour leader, he has received the support of multiple MPs and also the UK's largest trade union, Unison.  

 

Lisa Nandy MP

MP for Wigan, Lisa Nandy has also entered the race to replace Mr Corbyn. An MP since 2010, Ms Nandy served as the Shadow Energy Secretary from 2015 until 2016. She has also sat on the Education Select Committee, served as Shadow Children's minister and the Shadow Charities Minister. Following the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party in 2016, she announced that she would not return to the frontbench unless there was the reintroduction of Shadow Cabinet elections.

Announcing her leadership bid in the Wigan Post, she said she wanted to "bring Labour home" to its traditional strongholds. Ms Nandy rebelled against her party by arguing against a second EU referendum and she voted in favour of Boris Johnson's withdrawal deal in October.

 

Emily Thornberry MP

Former barrister and MP for Islington South & Finsbury since 2005, Emily Thornberry is the oldest candidate in the running to replace Jeremy Corbyn at the age of 59. During her time as an MP, Ms Thornberry has also served as the Shadow Attorney General, the Shadow Minister of State for Employment, the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, the Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Shadow Brexit Secretary and the Shadow First Secretary of State. 

Recently, Thornberry condemned the actions of the United States in the killing of Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike. Thornberry has long been a keen supporter of remaining in the European Union, and she has previously criticised her party for not having a clear position on Brexit.

 

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP

Rebecca Long-Bailey has been the MP for Salford and Eccles since 2015 and has a majority of 16,327 in the constituency. The northern MP has backed remain and has expressed similar opinions to those of Mr Corbyn on multiple issues. While serving as an MP, Ms Long-Bailey has also served as the Shadow Minister for the Treasury, the Shadow Cheif Secretary to the Treasury, and since 2017, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Ms Long-Bailey's bid for the leadership has been endorsed by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner.

 

Jess Phillips MP

MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips is the youngest candidate at 38 years old. In-office as an MP since 2015, Ms Phillips has not served in the shadow cabinet, being a long-term critic of outgoing party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Phillips has often given media interviews and has appeared on programmes such as 'Have I Got News For You' while being as an MP. Along with other MPs, Phillips has been subject to threats as has spoken out about these in Parliament. She has urged Labour to elect 'a different kind of leader' and has said the party needs to 'radically change'.

 

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis was also in the running for the leadership but withdrew after struggling to attract support and the nominations needed to see him through to the next round.

On Tuesday, an application period will open for registered Labour Party supporters to register to vote in the leadership election. A new leader is expected to be announced on 4 April - you can view the timetable for the election here.

 

Photo: A Labour rally in Middlesbrough in December 2019 | Credit: Jeremy Corbyn via Flickr under licence (CC BY 2.0)

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