Jess Phillips pulls out of Labour leadership race

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips has become the latest candidate to end her bid for Labour leadership.

Announcing her decision to pull out, the backbencher said the party needed a candidate that could “unite all parts” of the movement and admitted that “at this time, that person isn't me”.

In a video shared on Twitter Ms Phillips said: “I truly believe that unless we talk to the country on their terms, not just on ours, that we won't be able to make the gains we need to win an election.”

She added: “In order to win the country, we are going to have to find a candidate in this race who can do that and take that message out to the country of hope and change for things to be better.”

Ms Phillips also addressed the Labour Party’s issues with antisemitism allegations, telling members of the Jewish community: “I will always stand up, I will always speak out and I promise we will change the problems in our party that we have seen.”

Four candidates now remain in the contest: shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.

Sir Keir remains the frontrunner, having already secured his place on the final ballot paper with nominations from the unions Unison and Usdaw and affiliate group the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (Sera).

The remaining candidates attending hustings in London in front of the GMB union this morning – Ms Phillips did not attend, fuelling speculation over her subsequent withdrawal.

Read more 

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