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Five out of six Labour leadership candidates make it through to the next round of voting

Clive Lewis drops out 45 minutes before the deadline with only 5 nominations from fellow Labour MPs

FIVE candidates for the Labour leadership progressed to the second round today as hopeful Clive Lewis dropped out 45 minutes before the deadline.

All five candidates for the deputy leadership made it through to the second round of the concurrent race.

The candidates each had to secure at least 22 nominations from Labour MPs and MEPs by 2.30pm this afternoon.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer is the frontrunner for leader at the end of the first round with 89 nominations. 

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey is in second place with 33 and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy is in third with 31.

Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips only just got over the line with 23 nominations.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry scraped through with last-minute support from MPs Nadia Whittome and Alex Sobel, though neither said whether they would support her in the final vote. Ms Thornberry, who ended on 23 nominations, had been one short just 10 minutes before the deadline.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis withdrew from the leadership contest 45 minutes before the deadline with only five nominations.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner came out ahead in the nomination process for deputy leader with 88 votes, while Labour’s only Scottish MP Ian Murray was in second with 34.

Shadow women and equalities secretary Dawn Butler, Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan and shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon also secured enough support to enter the next stage.

At the weekend, the leadership of grassroots movement Momentum said that it was recommending support for Ms Long Bailey for leader and Ms Rayner for her deputy.

But many left-wing MPs backed Mr Burgon for deputy, which is reportedly based on Ms Rayner’s support for Andy Burnham for leader in 2015 rather than for outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband said he had nominated Mr Starmer as the best candidate to “deliver 21st century socialism” and Ms Rayner for having “an ability to inspire our party and movement.”

To get on the final ballot paper, the 10 candidates must secure support from either 5 per cent of constituency Labour parties – a total of 33 – or three affiliated organisations including two trade unions, adding up to 5 per cent of the affiliated membership.

The second stage of the leadership contests begin tomorrow.

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