Labour leadership contest: Who is in the running?

The winner will be announced on April 4

Monday, January 6, 2020

The race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party has entered its third round, with three candidates remaining.

Nominations closed on January 13 and the winner will be announced at a special party conference on Saturday April 4.

Here are the politicians in the running:


Emily Thornberry (OUT OF RACE)

The shadow foreign secretary was the first to officially declare her candidacy last month, just a week after Mr Corbyn announced he would stand down.

She said her experience in taking on Boris Johnson over the despatch box when he was Foreign Secretary – claiming she “pummelled him every week” – had prepared her for the role of leader of the opposition.

Ms Thornberry, MP for Islington South and Finsbury, later told talkRADIO she was “probably the most experienced” off all the candidates that intend to stand.


Sir Keir Starmer

The current favourite in the race, Sir Keir has served as the shadow Brexit secretary since October 2016.

In a video released on Twitter he said the Labour Party “must move forward”, calling on members to “unify around a radical programme”.

He said: “I still believe another future is possible where we can open up power and opportunity to all of our communities.”

The MP for Holborn and St Pancras has previously put Labour’s election defeat down to the lack of clarity on Brexit, issues with antisemitism and a “feeling that the manifesto was overloaded”.


Jess Phillips (OUT OF RACE)

Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips said the next Labour leader needs to confront Boris Johnson with “passion, heart and precision” as she announced her candidacy.

A long-term critic of Mr Corbyn, Ms Phillips warned that Labour is in “big trouble” is it cannot win back the trust of its working-class base.

On Brexit, the remain-backing MP told Andrew Marr she would “wait and see” how Brexit turns out, but hinted a return to the EU would be possible under her leadership.


Clive Lewis (OUT OF RACE)

Clive Lewis is a shadow treasury minister and has been MP for Norwich South since 2015.

He announced his candidacy shortly after Ms Thornberry, saying he was standing “so the truth can be heard”.

Writing for The Guardian, he said the Labour Party was “at a fork in the road”, adding that it now needs “an army of activists who think critically, treat each other with respect and have a serious democratic stake in the movement”.

Going forward, he cited climate change and the “ongoing technological revolution” as the biggest issues that will “shape our future”.


Lisa Nandy

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has held her seat in Parliament since 2010.

She said the main factors in Labours crushing defeat were trust and Mr Corbyn’s failure to acknowledge the power of the Boris Johnson’s Brexit message.

“Trust - trust was the issue, not the radicalism, not the deeper fundamental change we were promising, but trust,” she told Sky News.

She also criticised the free broadband pledge, saying: “It's not about whether you're radical or not, it's about whether you're relevant.”


Rebecca Long-Bailey

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has joined the race to become Labour leader, saying the party needs a "proud socialist" to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

Ms Long-Bailey - a favourite of the current leadership - said she could be trusted to maintain "our socialist agenda".



A separate but simultaneous contest is also taking place for the role of deputy leader.

Those in the running are shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon, as well as backbencher Ian Murray, shadow women's and equalities secretary Dawn Butler and shadow minister Rosena Allin-Khan.

Shadow minister Khalid Mahmood withdrew from the race.

talkRADIO: Listen live