What do Labour voters think of the party's leadership candidates?

13 Janvier, 2020, 20:52 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Jess Phillips speaking at the Progress annual conference at the TUC Congress Centre in Great Russell Street London

Jess Phillips has claimed hundreds of men have told her she should "shut up" and not stand to be Labour leader.

Keir Starmer has vowed to lead the drive to stamp out antisemitism in the Labour party if he wins the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

Alongside Ms Phillips, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer all have enough backers.

"It gives us the best possible mandate to go out and make our case to members that the Labour Party can pull together to give our country the radical, dynamic, compassionate Labour government the country deserves".

"We have to deliver a program that will tackle low pay and insecure work, rebuild our public services, empower communities and tackle the climate emergency", Starmer said in a statement before the official launch of his leadership bid, scheduled for Saturday.

Describing having seen "sex scandals, sleaze and sexuality" in politics when she was younger, she said: "You know I am not one who thinks it should have anything to do with the politics of this building, but it speaks to his character".

"What I would do is lead from the top and say it's my responsibility to take care of that". I wouldn't say it's for somebody else.

"Only when people who have left our party because of anti-Semitism feel that they can return will I be truly satisfied that we have dealt with the problem".

Mr Lewis - who has four nominations so far - also remained confident as he launched his pitch for the leadership.

"But there has to be leadership from the top and a personal involvement in this".

"I never want our activists, our members, our supporters, ever to knock on a door again and to be met with the response: 'I usually vote Labour but I'm not going to do so because of anti-Semitism, '" he continued. It seems to me that if you were kicked out of the Labor Party for supporting another political party, you should be kicked out for being anti-Semitic, "he said".

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Meanwhile, all the candidates are facing calls from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to pledge action on anti-Semitism within the party.

Sir Keir already looks likely to replace Mr Corbyn.

Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis appear less favoured by their colleagues, with just 10 and four nominations respectively.

The two frontbenchers have until 2.30pm on Monday to secure the 22 nominations from Labour MPs and MEPs they need to go forward to the next stage of the contest.

Starmer, 57, is the favorite to take over from Jeremy Corbyn following the party's dismal performance in last month's election, when it fell to its biggest defeat since the 1930s. "He positioned us in the right place on anti-austerity but we lost the election and now he is stepping down", he said.

The group's backing for Ms Long-Bailey is unsurprising given that she has always been the favoured candidate of the left to take on Mr Corbyn's mantle.

"That is the right thing to do". I'm not going to be quiet.

"On that basis I would give him, on that, nought out of 10. I respect him, thank him for what he has done, but we are moving on now".

Ms Phillips now has 15 backers before Monday's deadline.

He rubbished suggestions that he was too "centrist" to succeed. "Frankly, I find all the labels just get in the way", he said.

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