Harriet Harman nominates Diane Abbott for Labour leadership

Labour's acting leader, Harriet Harman, today nominated Diane Abbott for the party's leadership.

Ms Harman said she was doing so in the hope of helping to ensure there is a woman on the ballot paper, and will not cast her vote in the election this September.

Her move brings Ms Abbott up to 10 nominations - well short of the 33 she must secure by tomorrow's deadline if she is to join David Miliband, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls in the battle to succeed Gordon Brown.







Ms Harman has made clear that she wishes to remain deputy leader alongside whoever is named leader on September 25.

A source close to Ms Harman said: "The Labour Party knows that whoever wins the leadership contest, there will not be a men-only leadership at the top of the Labour Party as Harriet will continue in her role as deputy leader.

"However, she feels that the party does not want the leadership election and the debate that it will generate to be men only.

"Harriet will play no part in the eventual outcome, as she will not cast her vote. She will continue to serve as deputy leader alongside whoever wins. Therefore, she has nominated Diane."











Shadow education secretary Mr Balls, who already has the 33 nominations from MPs to stand, today said anyone else wanting to add their name to his list of backers should support Ms Abbott instead, to help her get on to the ballot paper.

Mr Balls made his surprise plea during a question and answer session at the GMB union's annual conference in Southport.



The shadow education secretary also signalled his support for Ms Harman's call for half the shadow cabinet to be made up of women.



Ms Abbott is the only woman and the only ethnic minority candidate among the six hopefuls seeking the Labour leadership.



Also hoping to secure their place on the ballot paper are shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, who has so far obtained 26 nominations, and left-wing backbencher John McDonnell with 15.



Leading the field with 71 nominations is shadow foreign secretary David Miliband, who today attempted to woo Labour's MEPs by promising to invite their leader to join his shadow cabinet team if he was elected.



The party's 13-strong representation at the European Parliament could play a significant role in the complicated electoral college system being used by Labour to choose a successor to Gordon Brown.



They form part of the MPs' section in the electoral college, which wields the same voting strength as the other two sections - affiliated organisations including unions and grassroots activists.



Writing on his campaign blog ahead of a visit to Brussels, Mr Miliband said that inviting the MEPs' leader to attend shadow cabinet was an "important and significant" signal that the party was serious about the work of the European Parliament and "wants to lead in a strong, outward-looking European Union".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test