The Weekend Leader - Labour leadership candidates to be grilled

Labour leadership candidates to be grilled



Labour members will get their first chance to grill the five MPs standing to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as party leader at an event in Liverpool on Friday.

Indian-origin MP Lisa Nandy, Birmingham MP Jess Phillips; Shadow First Secretary of State Emily Thornberry; Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Keir Starmer; and Shadow Business Secretary MP Rebecca Long-Bailey will all make their pitch to the party faithful, the BBC reported.

The hustings is the first in a series of events across the country before the new Labour leader is elected on April 4.

Those running to be deputy leader will also face party members.

Candidates Rosena Allin-Khan, Dawn Butler, Richard Burgon, Ian Murray and Angela Rayner will answer questions in a separate hustings later on Saturday.

In order to make the final ballot, each of the Labour leadership hopefuls must secure the backing of unions and local parties.

The five contenders need the support of 5 per cent of local parties or at least three affiliates by February 14 to make the final ballot.

Members of the public who join the party or become affiliated supporters before January 20 will be eligible to vote in the contest, said the BBC.

A YouGov poll of 1,005 Labour members for the Times on Friday suggested Thornberry would go out in the first round of voting with just 3 per cent, with Nandy knocked out in the second round and Phillips in the third, with most of her second preference votes going to Starmer.

The poll indicated that Starmer would beat Long-Bailey in the final round by 63 per cent to 37 per cent, once the other candidates have been eliminated.

It suggested that Rayner was on course to win the deputy leadership election in the first round with 57 per cent.

Corbyn signalled his intention to stand down after Labour lost its fourth general election in a row and his second as leader following the December 12, 2019 polls.IANS