/Keir Starmer cements status as Labour leader favourite as MP nominations close

Keir Starmer cements status as Labour leader favourite as MP nominations close

Sir Keir Starmer streaks ahead in Labour leadership battle as Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis face being kicked out of contest when MP nominations close TODAY

  • Labour hopefuls are vying for support in the battle to succeed Jeremy Corbyn
  • Sir Keir Starmer has 68 backers as nominations from MPs and MEPs close today
  • Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis are struggling to make 22 threshold to stay in 

Keir Starmer will go into the second stage of the Labour leadership battle as favourite after scoring backing from dozens of fellow MPs – but Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis are struggling to stay in the contest.

Hopefuls to succeed Jeremy Corbyn have until 2.30pm to secure the 22 nominations from Labour MPs and MEPs they need to go forward to the next stage of the contest.

Four contenders – Sir Keir, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips – already have the numbers they require to go through. According to the latest tally, shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir has racked up 68, far ahead of Ms Long-Bailey – thought to be the hard-Left’s favoured candidate – who has 26. 

However, shadow foreign secretary Ms Thornberry has only 10 declared supporters while Mr Lewis has just four.

Four contenders – Sir Keir, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips – already have the numbers they require to go through

With significant numbers of MPs yet to decide who to back, Ms Thornberry said at the weekend she was ‘fairly confident’ of making it but Mr Lewis admitted getting the numbers was ‘hard’.

In the race for deputy leader, which is running in parallel, two candidates – shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and Ian Murray – are already through.

Three others – Richard Burgon on 18, Rosena Allin-Khan with 17 and Dawn Butler with 15 – are hoping they can also make the cut.

Those who qualify in the two contests then need to get the nominations of 33 local constituency parties or three Labour affiliates – including at least two trade unions – to enter the final postal ballot of party members and registered supporters.

Ms Long-Bailey tried to cement her left-wing credentials yesterday by insisting she would abolish the House of Lords if she became PM. 

Ms Thornberry said at the weekend she was 'fairly confident' of making it but Mr Lewis admitted getting the numbers was 'hard'

Ms Thornberry said at the weekend she was 'fairly confident' of making it but Mr Lewis admitted getting the numbers was 'hard'

Ms Thornberry said at the weekend she was ‘fairly confident’ of making it but Mr Lewis admitted getting the numbers was ‘hard’

Rebecca Long-Bailey tried to cement her left-wing credentials yesterday (pictured) by insisting she would abolish the House of Lords if she became PM

Rebecca Long-Bailey tried to cement her left-wing credentials yesterday (pictured) by insisting she would abolish the House of Lords if she became PM

Rebecca Long-Bailey tried to cement her left-wing credentials yesterday (pictured) by insisting she would abolish the House of Lords if she became PM

She was also boosted over the weekend when left-wing activist group Momentum, which helped propel Mr Corbyn to the leadership in 2015, said it was recommending support for her and Ms Rayner.

It will now ask its members whether they agree with the recommendations, with ballots – consisting of just two questions – to be sent out this next week.

The group’s backing for Ms Long-Bailey is unsurprising given that she has long been the favoured candidate of the left to take on Mr Corbyn’s mantle.

However, many Corbyn-supporting MPs are backing Mr Burgon, the shadow justice secretary, for deputy rather than Ms Rayner, and Momentum’s support will be a significant boost for her campaign.

Although she already has the support of her close friend Ms Long-Bailey, Ms Rayner is distrusted by some on the left after backing Andy Burnham for leader in 2015 rather than Mr Corbyn.

Reports have suggested some around the Labour leader believe she was responsible for trying to undermine him.

In the race for deputy leader, which is running in parallel, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and Ian Murray - are already through

In the race for deputy leader, which is running in parallel, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and Ian Murray - are already through

In the race for deputy leader, which is running in parallel, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and Ian Murray – are already through

 

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