Politics

Who will be Labour’s next leader?

Labour leadership candidiates

The race to be Labour’s next leader is in full swing.

After the worst electoral defeat since 1935, Jeremy Corbyn said he would not lead the party into the next election, but is staying in place until his successor is named on 4 April.

Here are the hopefuls, with analysis from BBC Reality Check and BBC Politics.

Who is running for Labour’s leadership?

The 57-year-old shadow Brexit secretary received the most backing in the first stage of the contest, securing 88 nominations.

He used an article in the Sunday Mirror to announce his candidacy, saying Labour needed to “rebuild fast” to restore trust.

A passionate Remainer, he was director of public prosecutions before becoming MP for Holborn and St Pancras in 2015.

But critics have accused him of driving forward Labour’s change in Brexit policy for the 2019 election.

Read a full profile of Sir Keir here.

The 40-year-old shadow business secretary received the second highest number of nominations, with the backing of 33 colleagues.

Announcing her leadership bid in an article for Tribune magazine, she is one of a new generation of MPs on the left of the party.

She formed part of Mr Corbyn’s inner circle, representing Labour in a TV debate during the election, and is widely regarded as the preferred candidate of Mr Corbyn and his shadow chancellor, John McDonnell.

But critics of the current leadership have accused her of representing “continuity Corbyn”.

Read a full profile of Mrs Long Bailey here.

The 40-year-old MP for Wigan gained 31 nominations in the first round from fellow MPs and MEPs.

She declared her bid in a letter to the Wigan Post, saying the loss to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives had been “a long time coming” and she had a “deeper understanding of what has gone awry”.

She worked in the charitable sector before entering politics in 2010, and became one of a clutch of shadow ministers who resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench after the Brexit referendum.

Ms Nandy has become known for her support of smaller towns, saying the party needs to appeal to voters outside big cities if it is to win at the next election.

Read a full profile of Ms Nandy here.

The 38-year-old Birmingham Yardley MP secured 23 nominations to make the next round – just one above the threshold.

She worked for charity Women’s Aid before entering politics and has championed women’s rights issues from the backbenches.

She has been one of the most outspoken critics of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the party’s record on tackling anti-Semitism, bullying and harassment.

Read a full profile of Ms Phillips here.

The 59-year-old shadow foreign secretary was the first contender to throw her hat into the ring, but the last to get enough nominations – making 23 just 10 minutes before the voting closed.

She deputised for Mr Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions, but was replaced after publicly calling for Labour to back another EU referendum.

She worked as a barrister before becoming MP for Islington South and Finsbury.

Read a full profile of Ms Thornberry here.

Who ruled themselves out?

Shadow treasury secretary Clive Lewis announced his candidacy early – becoming only the second person to enter the race behind Ms Thornberry.

But less than an hour before nominations closed – and with only five MPs backing him – he pulled out of the contest.

In a statement afterwards, Mr Lewis urged the other candidates to be “strong enough” to take forward some of his policies and to be “radical, democratic, internationalist, green, open and pluralist”.

There were other MPs being touted for the top job, such as shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner, former leadership candidate Yvette Cooper and party chairman Ian Lavery, but all ruled themselves out.

What about the deputy leader?

The post has also been vacant since the election, when former Labour MP Tom Watson said he was stepping down, both from the role and as a member of Parliament.

This means it is now up for grabs, with the winner chosen in a separate contest entirely.

All five contenders who put themselves forward made it onto the ballot.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner appears to be the front runner, having 88 nominations from the party. She was a care worker and Unison official before becoming an MP, and has described herself as being on the “soft left” of the party.

She has received the endorsement of her flat-mate and friend Mrs Long Bailey.

Scotland’s only remaining Labour MP, Ian Murray, got the second most nominations with 34, followed by shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler on 29.

Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan got 23 nominations, while shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon – a loyal supporter of Mr Corbyn who has pledged to continue the current leader’s policy agenda – reached 22 shortly before nominations closed.

What is the timetable?

Who can run?

Candidates for leader and deputy leader have to be MPs, and they required nominations from 10% of Labour MPs and MEPs to get onto the ballot.

In a new rule, candidates also need nominations from 5% of Labour’s constituency parties.

Alternatively, they need nominations from three affiliated bodies, two of which must be trades unions, adding up to 5% of affiliated members.

Who can vote?

Members of the Labour Party, affiliated trades unions (if they opt in), and socialist societies such as the Fabians, all get one vote each.

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.

In 2015, non-members were allowed to register as supporters and vote in the contest for a £3 fee.

Those new registered supporters voted overwhelmingly for Jeremy Corbyn, though he gained enough support from members and affiliates to win anyway.

In 2016, when Owen Smith challenged Mr Corbyn, the cost of registering was raised to £25 and people were given only two days to sign up.

Image copyright Alamy

How does the vote work?

The votes are cast on a one-member, one-vote basis.

Voters fill in a preferential ballot, meaning they rank the candidates in order of preference.

If any candidate gets more than half the first preference votes, they win.

If not, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and their second preference votes are redistributed.

If that results in any candidate with more than half the votes, they win. If not, the remaining candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their votes redistributed, until the contest produces a winner.

Who controls the process?

Labour’s National Executive Committee has 39 members, representing the trades unions, the shadow cabinet, Labour’s elected representatives at local, national and European level, and constituency parties.

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and the grassroots campaign group Momentum are strongly represented on the NEC, and they are likely to use their influence to promote a left-wing candidate in the coming election.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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