Edinburgh South's Ian Murray has second highest support for Labour deputy leadership

Five candidates for leader and five for deputy

Monday, 13th January 2020, 5:01 pm
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 5:02 pm
Ian Murray is now Labour's only MP in Scotland

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray is one of five contenders to become Labour’s next UK deputy leader.

He finished the nomination stage of the contest with the second highest support among fellow parliamentarians, winning 34 nominations compared with 85 for favourite Angela Rayner, 28 for Dawn Butler, 23 for Rosena Allin Khan and 22 for Richard Burgon.

Sir Keir Starmer remains the favourite of the five standing for the leadership with 89 nominations, while Rebecca Long-Bailey won 33, Lisa Nandy 31, and Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry 23 each.

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Shadow Treasury minister Clive Lewis, who had secured five nominations, abandoned his leadership bid yesterday after acknowledging he could not reach the 22 threshold.

Ms Thornberry only reached the threshold with just minutes to go to the 2.30pm deadline.

The candidates in both races now 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.

A series of hustings meetings will be held around the country over the next five weekends to let party members hear the candidates make their case.

Mr Murray, now Labour’s only Scottish MP, said: “It’s fantastic that we have a diverse range of candidates standing in this contest, and I look forward to debating the future of our party and our country.

“I’m standing to be deputy leader because I want to change our party so that we can win again and transform people’s lives.

“We must change the way our party works so that we are a party for the whole of the UK.

“Never again can we stray from our values and never again can we face both ways on the most important issues of our time. I know what it takes to beat the odds and I am determined that Labour will win again.”

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband said he had nominated Sir Keir for leader as the best candidate to “deliver 21st century socialism” and Angela Rayner for deputy for having “an ability to inspire our party and movement”.

Ms Phillips said on a radio phone-in she had felt “quite tempted” to quit the party over its handling of allegations of anti-Semitism.

She said she “wobbled the most” when she saw a BBC Panorama investigation which claimed senior figures in the party had interfered in anti-Semitism investigations.

She said Ian Murray had one of the “most credible cases” to be deputy leader.

And if she failed in her bid to replace Jeremy Corbyn, she would like to serve under her rival Lisa Nandy,

Ms Nandy launched her campaign to succeed Jeremy Corbyn, urging party members to “make the brave, not the easy choice” by backing her for the role.

“These have been a bruising few years and a shattering defeat,” she said in a speech in Dagenham. But she said the road to recovery would not come from the “red wall” of key traditional Labour seats which were lost at the election.

“The stark reality is the path back to power runs not along our red wall but across a red bridge that connects our towns and cities.”

The results will be announced at a special conference on April 4.