Prospective Labour leaders to spar in Liverpool

Five Labour candidates will officially launch their campaigns for leadership of the party today at the first hustings in Liverpool.

0 Labour MP Keir Starmer Kicks Off Leadership Campaign In Manchester

Photo: Getty

Five Labour candidates will officially launch their campaigns for leadership of the party today at the first hustings in Liverpool.

The leadership contest was triggered by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to step down following his party’s historic defeat in the December 2019 general election. Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer leads the race with 88 nominations from MPs, far ahead of his nearest competitor Rebecca Long-Bailey’s 33 nominations, who represents the party’s left wing.

An ambiguous stance on Brexit and a radical political manifesto cost Labour 59 seats in the last election, including many in rural towns traditionally loyal to the party. Complaints from candidates about the metropolitan nature of the hustings schedule—none of the 12 meetings between today and February 29 is outside a large city—highlight the general disarray within the party.

Today’s address from leadership candidates will offer competing visions of how Labour will proceed after its disastrous defeat. Regardless of who comes out on top on April 4, the party must significantly reconsolidate to pose a challenge to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.

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