Five MPs Vie to Succeed Corbyn as U.K. Labour Leader

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13 jan. 2020, 16.32

(Bloomberg) -- Four women and one man will battle over the next three months to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the U.K.’s main opposition Labour party.

Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer is the current front-runner in the race for the party leadership, triggered after Corbyn quit following the socialist movement’s worst defeat for more than 80 years in last month’s election.

His status as bookmakers’ favorite is based largely on a survey of party members by YouGov Plc published at the start of January, and the fact that he got far and away the most nominations from his fellow members of parliament. But neither is a reliable guide to the final result. In 2015, Corbyn only just got enough nominations to make it into the contest, but ran a very strong campaign and overtook more prominent rivals.

The four other MPs in the contest -- all women -- are: Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry, who only secured enough support in the final moments before nominations closed.

Life After Corbyn? The Politicians Vying to Become Labour Leader

The next hurdle for candidates is winning enough support from groups affiliated to the party, including trades unions. They have until Feb. 14 to do that. It’s the first time the contest has included this stage, and it’s not clear how it will work. It could see candidates forced out.

Voting across the whole party will then run from Feb. 21 to April 2, with the result announced April 4.

The great unknown of the contest is how Labour members will respond to the election result. It could have led some to reassess their views of Corbyn, who previously enjoyed strong activist support. But which potential leader they will regard as the solution to the problem is far from clear.

(Updates with details of contest from third paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Ross in London at tross54@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net, Colin Keatinge

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