Who are the ones to watch in the Labour leadership contest?

16 December 2019, 20:43

Dan Bloom, the Daily Mirror's online political editor, runs through each of the possible contenders for the Labour Party leadership and what makes them stand out.

Summarising the top people for the job, the journalist told LBC's Eddie Mair about Angela Rayner's "proper backstory".

"She was pregnant at 16. She's now a grandmother before the age of 40 and she has a proper background that might resonate with quite a lot of listeners.

"Shadow education secretary, she's tipped for the top job, but she's also flatmates with someone else who is tipped by many on the left for the top job... Rebecca Long-Bailey. So there is potentially some scope for her actually not standing," Bloom said.

Odds currently favour Ms Long-Bailey and her colleague Lisa Nandy, who declared her candidacy over the weekend.

"She's the Wigan MP and has been going on for a long time about exactly the sort of thing that is said to have cost Labour the election - losing touch with people in traditional Labour heartland towns."

Corbyn was voted as leader for the second time in 2016
Corbyn was voted as leader for the second time in 2016. Picture: PA Images

Also in the race is Jess Phillips, who the journalist described as a "marmite" candidate - a Corbyn critic who is liked by the moderate wing of the Labour Party.

"I think she's very outspoken. She draws a lot of attention. And she speaks like a human being, which is kind of what you need in a leader," Bloom said.

"She's the Birmingham Yardley MP and has never shied away from giving a speech that goes viral on social media - in the comments she could divide opinion and is not so much loved, let's say, of the core ministers and Corbyn supporters."

Other people contending are the party's current Brexit Secretary Kier Starmer, former leadership contender Yvette Cooper, Labour veteran Dan Jarvis and Emily Thornberry, who today has threatened legal action against her colleague Caroline Flint after claims of defamation.