By Thaina Sa’id, Associate
The Labour Party deputy leadership contest undergoes the same process as the leadership election; some may say that this is quite convoluted, but it can be argued that such a democratic process ensures the legitimacy of the individuals chosen.
The final five candidates have been nominated by their fellow MPs and MEPs. Having managed to receive nominations from at least 10% of MPs and/or MEPs, the candidates have progressed onto the next stage of the process. They now need to secure nominations from CLPs and affiliates. The final decision will be made via a preferential ballot, with results being announced on April 4th.
After such a demoralising defeat, it is vital that the new leaders chosen will put an end to infighting, understand the public’s stance on key issues such as Brexit and be able to implement an effective campaign strategy moving forward.
The final five
Rosena Allin-Khan declared that she wants to establish a “Ministry of Fabulosity” full of ‘fabulous MPs’ – someone please send her my CV and Instagram profile. Aside from her radical plans for government, she also wants to run a “positive and clean campaign with respectful debate”. Rosena is a practising A&E doctor who credits Labour for saving her from poverty. Khalid Mahmood had initially intended to run but has since withdrawn and has extended his vote to the Shadow Sport and Tourism Minister. The MP for Tooting accrued 23 nominations enabling her to advance to the next level.
Richard Burgon, Shadow Justice Secretary, has the backing of John McDonnell which, after his role in the recent defeat, may do Burgon’s ticket more harm than good. Twitter was ablaze with claims that Ian Lavery was running with him being at the top of many people’s list. However, as the general election has shown us, twitter is an echo chamber and can be quite wrong at times, as Lavery is instead supporting Burgon for Deputy. The MP for Leeds East is backed by 22 of his peers.
Dawn Butler, Shadow Equalities Minister, announced her intention to run back in November when Tom Watson stepped down. The Brent Central MP is a strong trade unionist and staunch Corbyn ally. After calling for a more diverse ticket, Dawn has secured 29 nominations. Members were rooting for Dawn to be included in the ballot because she has been an advocate for women, BAME people, LGBTQ+ community, and disabled people.
Ian Murray, Scottish Labour Westminster Spokesperson, brings us the Scottish perspective and an in depth understanding of devolution. The MP for Edinburgh South has stated that current leadership has been ‘clumsy’ especially with regard to Scotland, however, insists he isn’t a Blairite. It cannot be denied that Ian is a survivor and the sole Labour MP north of Hadrian’s Wall will have a substantial amount to offer if Labour seeks to regain the trust of those lost seats. Murray gained 34 nominations.
Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary, has the support of her flatmate, Labour leadership candidate, Rebecca Long Bailey. The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne is the clear favourite, with 88 of her peer’s nominations. Angela also appears to have captured the support of Momentum who are urging members to vote for her. Rayner states it is important for her to do this for the young girls on the estate who come from a similar background, attributing her success to the policies of the last Labour government.
Some of the candidates, such as Murray, have been vocally critical of Corbyn’s leadership whilst others, like Rayner, remain supportive and do not view him as the sole reason behind the tragic thrashing on December 12th. Regardless of where they stand, the Deputy Leader chosen will need to rise to the considerable challenges Labour now faces and reclaim the trust of supporters Labour have ultimately lost.
You can read our blog on the Labour leadership election here.
Photo Credit: Parliament UK