Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not be endorsing a candidate to replace him as Labour leader.
When asked whether he had made up his mind, he said: “I won’t be saying who I’ll be voting for.”
It comes as six leadership hopefuls set out their stall at a meeting of Labour MPs at Westminster.
The MPs need to get the backing of at least 20 of their colleagues to get on to the ballot paper. The winner will be announced on 4 April.
Sheffield City region mayor and MP Dan Jarvis has, meanwhile, ruled out a leadership bid.
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey, the latest candidate to enter the race, has vowed to build on Mr Corbyn’s socialist policy agenda if she is elected leader.
‘Ten out of ten’
Speaking earlier to ITV News, she said Mr Corbyn deserved full marks for his leadership of the party, describing him as the “most honest, kind, principled politician” she has ever met.
“What we can’t ignore was that Jeremy was savaged from day one by the press.
“We have a role as a party to develop the image of our leader and to put them forward in the most positive way, but we also have a duty to rebut criticism and attacks.”
Mr Corbyn told BBC News that Mrs Long Bailey was a “wonderful colleague”, who had given him “ten out of ten”, but added: “I never mark my own homework.”
She told ITV: “What we can’t ignore was that Jeremy was savaged from day one by the press … We have a role as party to develop the image of our leader and to put them forward in the most positive way, but we also have a duty to rebut criticism and attacks.
“As a party we needed to have a rebuttal unit, a clear structure in place to rebut the attacks against him.”
Rebecca Long Bailey is at this moment the LeFt’s clear choice.
Starmer struggles with credibility
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir told the hustings that the party needs to “win back our heartlands”. To many it’s ironic that Keir Starmer battle cry is to win back the Labour Heartlands, without a doubt he is one of the main protagonist in why we lost the so called Red wall in the first place. His instance of a second referendum was seen as the main reason the Labour Party lost 52 leave voting Labour constituencies.
Starmer as now turned his back on the remainers that supported him. He almost seemed obsessive about the vote losing second referendum along with support for the so-called peoples vote, the People’s vote run by Blairites Peter Mandelson, Roland Rudd and Alastair Campbell. Again it is very notable that the People’s vote are no longer organising mass marchers. Marchers that always put more pressure on the Labour leadership and Party than they ever did the Tory’s.
Starmer now setting out his stall as a leadership contender, has stated that Britain should accept the 2016 referendum result. a far cry from the position he pushed Corbyn and the Labour party into. Even Jess Phillips as a little integrity and maintains her remain position who said she would ‘not rule out Labour rejoining the EU in future’. Starmer in contrast says:
We are going to leave the EU in the next few weeks argument for Leave and Remain goes with it
Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We are going to leave the EU in the next few weeks and it’s important for all of us, including myself, to realise that the argument for Leave and Remain goes with it. We are leaving. We will have left the EU.
“This election blew away the argument for a second referendum, rightly or wrongly, and we have to adjust to that situation.”
It was clear to many on the LeFT that just like Jo Swinson Starmer was using the Remain campaign to jockey himself into a leadership position. Starmer is the establishment choice.
As part of his attempt to position himself on the left, the former director of public prosecutions said Labour should not retreat from Jeremy Corbyn’s “radical” anti-austerity policies – although he claimed voters were turned off by the “overloaded” manifesto.
Starmer will find it very difficult to sell himself as a candidate of the LeFT. People are much more savvy and are prepared to research a politicians voting record and statements on issues. Starmer has been criticised for abstaining on the second reading of the punishing Welfare Reform Bill in 2015, his resignation from Mr Corbyn’s front bench in 2016 and his support for Owen Smith to replace Mr Corbyn in the leadership election that followed.
This is how the Labour leadership: contest will be run.
Result will be announced on 4 April
The contest for the new Labour leader will formally begin on Tuesday with the winner announced on 4 April, the party’s ruling body has decided.
Those who join the party or become affiliated supporters before 20 January will be eligible to vote.
Registered supporters – who are not full party members – will have 48 hours from 14-16 January to secure a vote by paying £25.
The joining deadline for participation in the ballot is 5pm on Monday 20 January. Join online here.
How will the leadership race unfold?
- 7-13 January: Nomination period for MPs and MEPs
- 14-16 January: Application period for registered supporters
- 15 January – 14 February: Second stage of nominations from Constituency Labour Parties (CLP) and affiliates, including unions
- 20 January: Freeze date for voting eligibility for new members and affiliated supporters
- 21 February: Ballot opens
- 2 April: Ballot closes
- 4 April: Special conference to announce results
More than 500,000 people took part in the last leadership contest, when Mr Corbyn was re-elected in 2016.
He signalled his intention to stand down last month after Labour lost its fourth general election in a row and his second as leader. His successor will be in place before council and mayoral elections at the start of May.