Labour's next leader will have a challenging five years ahead of them. There are four candidates running, but who is backing them?
Chuka Umunna has pulled out of the leadership battle, but Liz Kendall has received his endorsement as well as the endorsement of his leadership team including the likes of Stephen Twigg, Jonathan Reynolds and Emma Reynolds. Umunna was at one point seen as the front-runner so his endorsement will certainly help Kendal on her journey to become Labour leader and potentially Labour’s first female Prime Minister.
Writing in the New Statesman Umunna’s leadership team said:
“For us, our next leader must get this vision right. On all these big subjects, Liz Kendall has asked the tough questions and started to chart a course to the answers. She has been courageous in challenging conventional wisdom. She has no compunction in moving Labour beyond our comfort zone and is determined to build a team ready to chart a route forward.”
In addition to Umunna’s team, according to the BBC, Tristram Hunt backed Kendall last week. Hunt himself was considering standing but is now getting behind Kendall, something that will boost her chances.
The current front-runner, according to the betting markets, has received a wide range of endorsements, fitting for the candidate claiming to be “mainstream Labour”. Burnham has received the endorsement of Dan Jarvis, the man tipped to run but did not do so due to personal issues.
Writing in the Daily Mirror, Jarvis said:
“I’m choosing to support Andy because I’m convinced he has the strength, experience and character needed to bring our party together and restore Labour’s connection with the British people.”
According to the Guardian, Burnham has also received the endorsement of Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Work and Pensions secretary. Furthermore, the Guardian reported that Burnham could have over 70 nominations from MPs, more than enough to secure is place in the competition.
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So far Cooper has yet to gain any serious backers from what has been reported. However, her husband and former Shadow Chancellor, who lost his seat in the election, is of course backing her but will not be a part of her campaign, according to the BBC.
Probably the least well known of the candidates has received backing from one of the 2015 intake: Stephen Kinnock, Neil Kinnock’s son and husband of the Danish Prime Minister.
Writing in the New Statesman, Kinnock said:
“Labour needs a leader who can get the tone and content of our story right, and who is just as comfortable in a room full of CEOs as she is in a school, hospital or Brussels summit.
"I believe that Mary Creagh is that person.”
Who will lead?
According to William Hill, Andy Burnham is the favourite (11/10), with Liz Kendall close behind on 5/4. Next is Yvette Cooper on 5/1, followed by Mary Creagh with odds of 33/1. Whoever wins will have a tough task ahead of them.