7 former Labour leadership contenders: where are they now?

Corbyn's performance in the election secures his position, but what are his previous opponents, and other leadership candidates, doing now?

1. Owen Smith (2016 – 2nd)

This Welsh Labour MP challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership in 2016 and subsequently lost out. But in a possible show of a divided Labour party coming together, Smith now serves in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet as shadow secretary for Northern Ireland, according to Independent.

2. Andy Burnham (2015 – 2nd, 2010 – 4th)

Burnham has stood twice for leader, losing out both times, the first to Ed Miliband and the second to Jeremy Corbyn.

Following Corbyn’s election, Burnham was appointed Shadow Home Secretary, but later left the role and Westminster politics altogether.

In another-wise disappointing local election night for the Labour party, Burnham comfortably won the race to become Mayor of Manchester according to the Telegraph. Perhaps he will “do a Boris” and return to parliament in a few years and launch a leadership bid.

3. Yvette Cooper (2015 – 3rd)

Cooper, who also lost out to Corbyn in 2015, won her seat in the 2017 election and currently chairs the Home Affairs Select Committee, having been elected to the position in October 2016, according to the UK Parliament website.

More recently, she has made the headlines by saying she is “sick to death of vitriol” sent towards the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, according to the Guardian.

4. Liz Kendall (2015 – 4rd)

Kendall came in last-place and won just 4% of the vote in the 2015 Labour leadership election. She remains an MP, having won her seat with an increased majority and 60.8% of the vote, according to the BBC, and appears occasionally on the BBC’s This Week with Andrew Neil.

Perhaps she is following the same career path as Michael Portillo who also launched a failed leadership bid and now appears regularly on Neil’s show.

5. David Miliband (2010 – 2nd)

Since losing the Labour leadership race to his brother Ed Miliband, David sat as a backbench MP before resigning his seat in 2013 in order to become Chief Excecutive and President of the humanitarian International Rescue Committee, according to the Standard.

Before the recent election he said that Labour was the farthest it had been from power in almost 100 years, as reported by the Guardian.

6. Ed Balls (2010 – 3rd)

Since losing the 2010 election to Ed Miliband, the other Ed has been on a rollercoaster ride. He went into the 2015 election as Shadow Chancellor with the very real chance of becoming Chancellor the next day, however, his political career was cut short when he lost his seat, as reported by the Guardian, epitomising just how badly Labour did that election. Since then he has written a book – Speaking Out: Lessons in Life and Politics - and been on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

He did not stand in the 2017 election.

Will Ed Balls return to parliament at some stage? I would not be surprised.

7. Diane Abbott (2010 – 5th)

Since losing the 2010 leadership election, she served in Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet before also serving in Jeremy Corbyn’s in numerous posts.

She is the current Shadow Home Secretary, but according to the Guardian, briefly left the position at the end of the general election campaign due to illness.

Have something to tell us about this article?