Labour leader: Emily Thornberry out the race after failing to make it on to ballot

Islington North MP fails to win enough support before deadline

Peter Stubley,Lizzy Buchan
Friday 14 February 2020 23:01 GMT
Spat between Emily Thornberry and Rebecca Long Bailey over pizza claims

Emily Thornberry is out of the Labour leadership race after failing to make it on to the final members’ ballot.

The shadow foreign secretary fell two constituency parties short of the 33 required by the deadline on Friday night.

She had been struggling to pick up sufficient support to make it through the final round of the contest, where Labour members vote for their favoured candidate.

Her rivals had all made it onto the ballot paper already, with Sir Keir Starmer gaining an early lead by picking up endorsements from major trade unions such as Unison and Usdaw, as well as more than half of all constituency parties.

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy also passed through to the final round with the support of the GMB and the National Union of Mineworkers, also winning the endorsement of Chinese for Labour and the Jewish Labour Movement.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary and close Corbyn ally, won the coveted support of Unite, Labour’s biggest financial backer, as well as the left-wing Baker’s union and the Communication Workers Union.

Despite her shadow cabinet role, Ms Thornberry remained the outside candidate in the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

She barely squeaked through the first round in January, securing enough MP nominations with only minutes to spare before the deadline.

And on Friday morning, the Islington South and Finsbury MP had won only 30 of the 33 nominations needed from local parties, with less than a handful left to pick a candidate.

Ms Thornberry picked up one more during the day but ultimately failed to obtain enough support.

The members ballot opens on 24 February and closes on 2 April – with the new Labour leader and deputy announced on 4 April.

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