Leadership contest begins in earnest

Several Labour MPs have announced their candidacy for the upcoming leadership contest

David Miliband is currently the favourite to succeed Gordon Brown as Labour leader, but he faces stiff competition, including his brother Ed; Photo: World Economic Forum

David Miliband is currently the favourite to succeed Gordon Brown as Labour leader, but he faces stiff competition, including his brother Ed; Photo: World Economic Forum

SEVERAL LABOUR MPs have announced their candidacy for the upcoming leadership contest. 

David Miliband is set to go head-to-head against his brother Ed, as well as Andy Burnham and Ed Balls. Diane Abbott is the only woman so far to enter the contest. Harriet Harman, who is acting leader has announced that she will not be standing. 

Labour candidates have until 9 June to announce their intention to stand, with the support of 33 MPs needed.   

The new leader will not be elected until the Labour Conference on 26 September in Manchester. 

The party decided they wanted to postpone making the decision in the wake of losing the election to the Conservatives, hoping that they will be able to make the right choice for the future.

Many key figures have been quick to rule themselves out of the running.  Alistair Darling and Jack Straw will not be running, mainly due to the belief that younger candidate is required. 

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who for a long time was seen as a challenger to Gordon Brown, has ruled himself out and pledged his support to David Miliband.  It is widely thought that Yvette Cooper will support her husband Ed Balls.

Jon Cruddas, who was defeated by Harriet Harman in the contest for Deputy Leader in 2007, has also ruled himself out. 

Many are excited by the sibling rivalry between David and Ed Miliband. David Miliband is currently favourite for the job and has said he is confident his family will “remain strong” whatever the outcome, and that he was “immensely proud” of his brother. 

Alistair Darling and Jack Straw will not be running, mainly due to the belief that younger candidate is required.

He has been a consistent performer for the Labour Party, and was a success as Foreign Secretary.  The brothers have stated similar views that the era of Brown and Blair was over. 

Ed Balls, a close ally of Gordon Brown, has stated that his small electoral majority in his constituency of Morely and Outwood “wouldn’t be a problem” in his campaign for leadership. 

Andy Burnham believes he is a “different voice in the campaign” and told the BBC he has “an ability to speak to people who have lost faith in Labour”.  Having been a member of the Labour Party for 25 years, he is currently Shadow Health Secretary. 

Britain’s first black female MP, Diane Abbott, was an unexpected contender, but has maintained she will make a “serious bid”. There is still time for more contenders to enter the fray, with outspoken left wing backbencher John McDonnel attempting to get enough support to run.

Whoever is elected will face the tough challenge of trying to restore Labour to a majority in the House of Commons.

Leave a comment



Please note our disclaimer relating to comments submitted. Please do not post pretending to be another person. Nouse is not responsible for user-submitted content.