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General election 2019: Labour prepares for leadership race after defeat

BayRadio | December 18, 2019

Hopefuls to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader are examining the reasons for the party’s election defeat.

Norwich MP Clive Lewis and Wigan’s Lisa Nandy have both said they are considering running for the position of Labour leader.

Other potential contenders Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry have so far declined to confirm their candidacy.

The contest could begin on 7 January following recommendations from the party’s general secretary.

And Labour Party officials have suggested that Mr Corbyn’s successor will be in place by the end of March.

Mr Corbyn announced he would step down as leader, after the party suffered its worst election result since 1935.

Speaking to Radio 5live, Ms Nandy said she was “seriously thinking” about running in the leadership contest.

She said the challenge for her party was to “rebuild the traditional coalition that has previously propelled Labour into power between the middle class and the working classes”.

She also argued that voters had “no great enthusiasm for the Tory offer” and although they liked Labour policies the electorate “couldn’t trust” the party to implement them.

On Brexit, she said she doubted she would vote for the prime minister’s withdrawal deal – expected to return to Parliament this week.

Asked if he would run, Mr Lewis also said he was “thinking about it”.

Speaking to the Victoria Derbyshire programme, the Norwich South MP said Labour’s defeat had been “40 years in the making” arguing that the New Labour governments between 1997 and 2010 had not invested enough in certain areas.

He said the party needed to reach out to both Leavers and Remainers.

Both the shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and shadow foreign secretary Ms Thornberry are possible successors to Mr Corbyn, however they have so far not announced their intention to run.

Sir Keir said: “This is a moment for reflection, we’re talking to lots of colleagues, the competition doesn’t open until early next year.”

Meanwhile Ms Thornberry said the party’s central message was “the right one… so how we managed to lose that one is something we need to think about”.

The London MP also attacked Caroline Flint, who accused Ms Thornberry of saying “I’m glad my constituents aren’t as stupid as yours.”

Ms Thornberry said it was “simply untrue” and confirmed she would be taking “legal action”.

Ms Flint lost her Yorkshire seat to the Conservatives in Thursday’s election.

Other candidates being mooted include Jess Phillips, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Angela Rayner.

Written by BayRadio

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