Jess Phillips announces Labour leadership candidacy

Ms Phillips also unveiled her bid on social media

Friday, January 3, 2020

Labour MP Jess Phillips has confirmed that she will be entering the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

In a statement, the Remain-backing MP warned that voters have lost trust in the party and stressed the need for Boris Johnson to be challenged with "passion, heart and precision".

"We have got to be brave and bold and bring people with us, not try and look all ways. Trying to please everyone usually means we have pleased no one," she said.

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

The party suffered its worst general election result since 1935, winning just 203 seats and losing many in the north of England that it had held for decades.

The backbencher put Labour's catastrophic loss down to the "woeful response" to anti-Semitism within the party's ranks and for Mr Corbyn's ambiguity on Brexit.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and shadow treasury minister Clive Lewis are the only other candidates to have confirmed their running.

Others are also expected to announce their intentions soon, including shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, a close ally of Mr Corbyn, has also declared that she is considering running for the role, but is yet to formally announce her candidacy.

Ms Phillips, who supported victims of domestic abuse for Women's Aid before entering Parliament in 2015, would appear to be a relatively popular choice with the Labour members who will help select the leader.

She came third in a YouGov survey of the membership behind both Sir Keir and shadow business secretary Ms Long-Bailey.

The contest will formerly get underway on January 7 but a new leader is not expected until the end of March.

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