Leeds Central, North West, and West MPs Endorse Starmer, Thornberry and Phillips in Leadership Contest

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As of Monday evening, round two of the Labour leadership consists of Sir Keir Starmer with 88 nominations, Rebecca Long-Bailey with 33, Lisa Nandy with 31, Jess Philips and Emily Thornberry both with  23 nominations. Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, left the race after only securing five nominations. 

On Monday, three Leeds Labour MPs endorsed three more candidates. Richard Burgon and Fabian Hamilton, MPs for Leeds East and Leeds North East, had already nominated Rebecca Long-Bailey and Emily Thornberry in the leadership contest.  

Hilary Behn MP for Leeds Central on Monday showed his support for Kier Starmer and Angela Rayner by tweeting:

Starmer, is the current shadow Brexit secretary. With these results, it is clear that Sir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, is a favourite for the leadership of the party and will be tough competition for the four other MPs nominated.

Starmer, a former University of Leeds student, told the Sunday Mirror that Labour needed to ‘rebuild fast’ and continue ‘the moral fight against poverty, social inequality and social justice’. He also has the support of the UK’s biggest union, Unison. 

Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North West, nominated Thornberry and Rosena Allin-Khan for Leader and Deputy Leader respectively. In a post on Facebook, Alex congratulated Angela Rayner too for securing so many nominations for Deputy Leader. He said:

“As a party, we are blessed with so many talented, tenacious politicians who I’m proud to call my colleagues”.

 Thornberry was nearly out of the race however she managed to secure the backing of 23 nominations less than ten minutes before the deadline after she managed to pick up nominations from MPs who were previously supporting Lewis.

Thornberry is the MP for Islington South and Finsbury and Shadow Foreign Secretary. Ms. Thornberry told the BBC she believed she could win the contest because she came “from the heart of the party”. 

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves endorsed Jess Phillips and Angela Rayner for Leader and Deputy Leader. Phillips said on Sunday that she would reappoint Reeves as shadow Work and Pensions secretary. Reeves left her position under Jeremy Corbyn.

Jess Phillips is the MP for Birmingham Yardley and has been praised for her feminist and anti-domestic abuse speeches from the backbenches of Parliament.

Phillips has long been critical of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Phillips told Owen Jones in an interview ‘the day you [Corbyn] are hurting us more than you are helping us, I won’t knife you in the back, I’ll knife you in the front’.

She said in October that Corbyn should stand down as Leader if Labour lost a majority in the 2019 general election and argues that with her in power, politics will become more honest.

Jeremy Corbyn’s successor will be announced on the 4th April. He is having to step down from his role as leader of the party after Labour’s horrific defeat in December. 

If you want to vote in the leadership election you have until 5pm on 16th January to register as a supporter for £25. Alternatively, you can join the party as a member with the cut off for eligibility being 20th January.

Anyone who has supported another political organization other than the Labour Party within the last two years will be excluded.