Sir Keir Starmer’s mother-in-law has died two weeks after suffering an accident, it was revealed today.
The mother of the Labour leadership hopeful’s wife had been in critical condition following the incident last month.
Sir Keir cancelled his appearance at a hustings in Nottingham this weekend to be with his family.
And Jenny Chapman, the chair of his campaign, announced on Twitter this afternoon: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with Keir Starmer and his family. Keir’s mother-in-law died yesterday following an accident two weeks ago.
‘Thank you to everyone for being so kind and supportive and for respecting his family’s privacy at this difficult time.’
Labour MPs including rivals Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy and deputy leadership contender Angela Rayner sent their condolences to the family after the news.
The mother of Sir Keir Starmer’s wife Victoria (pictured with him on election night in 2017) had been in critical condition following an accident last month
And Jenny Chapman, the chair of his campaign, announced the news on Twitter this afternoon
Jeremy Corbyn said his ‘thoughts and sympathy’ was with the Starmer family today
Labour leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey tweeted sending ‘solidarity and condolences’
Deputy leadership contender Angela Rayner and backbencher Lucy Powell were among those offering condolences today
The MP’s aides said he would not be making any further comment today.
Sir Keir pulled out of leadership events for a number of days after his mother-in-law Barbara was admitted to hospital following an accident. The nature of the accident has not been disclosed.
At the time the shadow cabinet member thanked people for their ‘support and kindness’ in what he said had been – and would continue to be – a ‘very difficult time’.
A hustings event in Nottingham went ahead yesterday with a representative standing in for Sir Keir.
However, the event scheduled for today has been postponed, with the party saying their ‘thoughts are with Keir and his family’.
Ms Long-Bailey posted on Twitter: ‘Sending all our solidarity and condolences to Keir and his family’.
Ms Nandy added: ‘My thoughts and condolences go out to Keir, his family and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.’
Polls have regularly been suggesting that Sir Keir is likely to come out on top in the leadership ballot.
He is the favourite to emerge victorious when the result is declared on April 4.
His main rival appears to be Ms Long-Bailey – regarded as the ‘continuity Corbyn’ candidate – with Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry also challenging.
Sir Keir tweeted yesterday to say he was cancelling campaigning to be with his family
Shadow cabinet member Sir Keir was due to take part in hustings with other candidates in the battle to succeed Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday and Sunday (he is pictured last weekend during a party leadership hustings)
Keir Starmer speaks during the Labour leadership hustings at Cardiff City Hall last weekend. He had pulled out of campaign events this weekend
Labour ‘dirty tricks’ row after party reports Keir Starmer aides to information watchdog over ‘nonsense’ claims database was hacked
Labour is embroiled in a ‘dirty tricks’ row after the party reported Keir Starmer’s leadership campaign to the information watchdog over claims details of members were hacked.
The party confirmed it has notified the independent Information Commissioner after allegations were made about abuse of official databases.
According to the BBC, some of Sir Keir’s aides have been accused of ‘data-scraping’ to identify potential supporters to target in the contest.
But a spokesman for Sir Keir dismissed the accusations as ‘nonsense’ and said the campaign categorically denied any wrongdoing.
Allies of the shadow Brexit secretary – who this weekend pulled out of hustings events after his mother-in-law died – suggested he was the victim of a dirty tricks campaign.
A spokesman for Sir Keir Starmer (left) denied any wrongdoing over use of members’ data. The spat emerged following claims that rival aides to Rebecca Long-Bailey (pictured right at hustings yesterday) team had used details held by the party to contact members
Allies of the shadow Brexit secretary suggested he was the victim of a dirty tricks campaign
The spat emerged following claims that rival Rebecca Long-Bailey’s team had used details held by the party as part of efforts to contact members.
Access to such information is meant to be tightly controlled until February 14, to avoid giving any candidate an unfair advantage.
Ms Long-Bailey and Sir Keir are the two frontrunners in the battle to succeed Jeremy Corbyn. The winner is due to be declared on April 4.
A Labour Party spokesman said: ‘The Labour Party takes its legal responsibilities for data protection – and the security and integrity of its data and systems – extremely seriously.
‘We have written to all leadership candidates to remind them of their obligations under the law and to seek assurances that membership data will not be misused.’
Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby has ordered a ‘thorough investigation’ of all the claims.
It is understood the party has not yet identified evidence to substantiate the allegations about Ms Long-Bailey’s campaign – which has denied any deliberate breach – but is investigating ‘separate matters’ that emerged as a result.
A spokesman for Sir Keir said: ‘We categorically reject these nonsensical allegations and are incredibly disappointed that they have been leaked to the media.
‘We are still awaiting the party’s formal response to the serious concerns we and others had about access to Labour Party membership data.’
Labour MP Steve McCabe tweeted: This is very disappointing but highlights just how much change will be necessary to restore the party to health & make us electable once more.
‘Keir can win despite unelected apparatchiks plotting against him because ordinary members have had enough.’