Labour leadership election candidates: Who has joined the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn?

The  will soon elect its 28th leader replacing the incumbent Jeremy Corbyn who has held the position since 2015. The MP for Islington North was forced to announce his resignation in the wake of a disastrous outcome for the Labour Party in the December 12 general election. But which candidates have thrown their hat into the race to replace ?

The Labour Party suffered a crushing defeat at the December 2019 general election, which saw the party lose 60 seats.

This result was the worst defeat for the party in almost a century.

In the aftermath, Labour’s leader Mr Corbyn announced he would be standing down which triggered a 2020 leadership race.

Several MPs are considering taking up the mantle of change and leading the Labour Party.

A few of those prospective leaders have now announced their intention to run.

At this point in the Labour leadership race the following contenders have announced their intention to campaign to replace Mr Corbyn:

  • Emily Thornberry
  • Clive Lewis
  • Jess Phillips
  • Lisa Nandy
  • Sir Keir Starmer

But who are these contenders and what are they known for?

READ MORE: Labour MP Lisa Nandy launches leadership bid

Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry was the first MP to officially enter the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn.

The MP for Islington South and Finsbury has been an MP since 2005 and was first elected to serve as Shadow Attorney General in that year until she resigned in 2014.

She is currently the Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Shadow First Secretary of State.

Speaking to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, she said she thinks she can win the contest because she comes “from the heart of the party”.

She additionally accused Mr Corbyn’s advisers of “badly letting him down”.

Announcing her candidacy in a Guardian article, Ms Thornberry wrote: “So when the Labour leadership contest begins, whoever is standing – and I hope to be one of the candidates – the first question shouldn’t be about their position on Brexit, or where they live in our country.”

She said, as leader, Mr Corbyn had brought Labour “back to who we really are” and offered a “clarity of vision that was incredibly appealing, but that then that got lost”.

She told the BBC: “I think that Jeremy has been really badly let down by people who advised him badly and picked up their own agenda.”

Clive Lewis

Clive Lewis is the Shadow Minister for Sustainable Economics and the MP for Norwich South.

Mr Lewis has been an MP since 2015 and he previously served as the vice president of the National Union of Students, as a TV reporter for BBC News and as an infantry officer with the Territorial Army.

During his parliamentary career, Mr Lewis has been a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and became a Shadow Energy Minister shortly after Mr Corbyn became party leader.

He took his seat in 2015 from the Liberal Democrats and rejoined the Labour Party’s frontbench in January 2019, having resigned in February 2017 to oppose the bill triggering the Brexit process.

At the time, he said he could not in “all good conscience, vote for something I believe will ultimately harm the city I have the honour to represent”.

In a Guardian article, Mr Lewis wrote about his decision to stand, he wrote: “That’s the first reason I’m standing: for a chance to tell the truth.

“With our party on the edge of a precipice, now is the time to dispel our fears and face up to reality.

“Anything else would mean that the millions of people who still need a Labour government, so badly, would be failed again.

“The truth is that to change our country, we have to change ourselves.”

He added: “I’m standing to be leader of the Labour party for the simple reason that if I don’t, certain necessary truths may go unspoken during the debates of the coming months.”

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Jess Phillips

Jess Phillips announced she is joining the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn.

The Birmingham Yardley MP has held her seat since 2015 and is a backbencher MP.

Ms Phillips has never served on the frontbench and she is known for being an outspoken MP.

During her announcement, she acknowledged the campaign “won’t necessarily be an easy fight” for her, but she thought Labour members were “ready to try something different”.

She added that “something has to change” and that she was standing “because I think that we need more honesty in politics”.

The MP for Birmingham Yardley has been a vocal critic of Mr Corbyn throughout his time in office.

She added that now it is time for Labour to elect a leader who will “truly speak truth to power” and be able to “take on” Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Ms Phillips said: “I’m able to reach people... and I’m able to get people to trust me even when they don’t agree with me, and I think that’s what politics needs.”

Lisa Nandy

Lisa Nandy is the MP for Wigan who announced she is joining the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour Party leader.

She was elected in 2010 and has previously held the post of Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

But she was among a group of shadow ministers to quit their posts in 2016 following the Brexit referendum.

She advocated remaining in the EU during the referendum campaign but voted for the PM’s Brexit deal in October.

The MP has since argued the party’s pledge to hold another referendum after renegotiating the deal alienated voters in Leave-supporting areas.

Ms Nandy announced her bid in a letter to the Wigan Post, during which she said she intended to “bring Labour home” to voters that have abandoned the party in its traditional strongholds.

The Wigan MP said a “political earthquake” had been seen in the wake of the election and highlighted how necessary a new approach within the party was needed.

Sir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer is the latest MP to announce his intention to run for leadership of the Labour Party in the upcoming 2020 race.

In recent polls, Sir Keir has been the clear frontrunner in the competition out of the predicted contender pool.

The Shadow Brexit Secretary has been the MP for Holborn and St Pancras since 2015.

Writing in the Sunday Mirror he said that Labour needs to "rebuild fast" to restore trust.

He wrote in the Sunday Mirror: "We cannot bury our head in the sand: Labour must rebuild and fast. We have to restore trust in our party as a force for change and a force for good.

"The millions of people who needed change at the last election still need change. The moral fight against poverty, inequality and injustice must continue.

"But as we rebuild we must not lose sight of our values or retreat from the radicalism of the past few years."

Sir Keir backed Remain in the EU referendum and is due to begin his leadership bid by visiting Brexit-backing Stevenage on Sunday.

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