Labour leadership: Five candidates through as nominations close

Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips Emily Thornberry

It’s now a five-horse race for the Leadership position

The leadership hopefuls passed the first hurdle after gaining the nominations of 22 MP and MEP colleagues. Sir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry are the remaining candidates.

Emily Thornberry will join four other candidates on the ballot to become the next Labour leader, after winning the support of enough MPs and MEPs.

The shadow foreign secretary passed the threshold of 22 backers less than 10 minutes before nominations closed.

She was helped by Clive Lewis quitting the race – with several of his backers switching to back her candidacy.

Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips had already qualified for the next stage.

All five candidates for the deputy leadership – Angela Rayner, Dawn Butler, Ian Murray, Richard Burgon and Rosena Allin-Khan – made it through to the next round of the competition.

Sir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, was the clear favourite for the leadership among MPs, with 86 nominations, with Rebecca Long-Bailey, the favoured candidate of many Jeremy Corbyn allies, second on 33.

Lisa Nandy, who has been critical of the party’s push for a second referendum on Brexit, has 30 supporters, while Jess Phillips, the backbencher and women’s rights campaigner, has 23 backers.

Thornberry just made it over the line on 22 supporters with minutes to go, after picking up some nominations from MPs who had previously backed Lewis.

Lewis, a pro-EU voice on the left of the party, managed to get only five supporters. Withdrawing his candidacy, he said: “At this stage, it’s clear that I won’t get on the ballot. So, I’m standing aside in the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity that I’ve promoted throughout this campaign, so that those who have supported me can recast their nominations.”

The freeze date for new members to join and be eligible to vote is January 20.

People will also be able to join as a registered supporter for a fee of £25 provided they are on the electoral register and meet the membership qualification criteria of membership of the party.

Applications to become a registered supporter open at 5pm on January 14 and close at 5pm on January 16.

The second stage of nominations from constituency parties and affiliates then opens on January 15 and runs to February 14.

The ballot of members and registered supporters opens the following week on February 21, closing at midday on Thursday April 2.

The result will be announced on April 4 at a special conference in London.

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