Labour in Norwich split over party leader nominations

Brenda Watkins
February 18, 2020

Many reasons have been cited for Labour's big defeat including the leadership of Corbyn, a veteran left-winger who was seen to have put off mainstream voters.

At the midnight Friday deadline, the shadow foreign secretary had 31 nominations from local constituency parties - two short of the 33 needed.

Lisa Nandy gained 71 local party nominations, as well as passing through the affiliates route thanks to GMB, Chinese for Labour and the NUM.

The three other candidates still in the contest - Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy - had already obtained the nominations they needed.

Following the confirmation of the result, Ms Thornberry said it was a "shame" she had not gone through, but praised her "brilliant" campaign team.

"I wouldn't vote to abolish the monarchy".

And half of those who backed Mr Corbyn in the 2016 run-off against Owen Smith are also supporting the shadow Brexit secretary.

She only scraped through the first round of nominations by Labour MPs and MEPs with 23 votes - one more than the 22 required - after Clive Lewis dropped out.

Ms Thornberry had struggled for support throughout the contest.

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Long-Bailey said: "Everybody knows what I believe in and I'll never deviate from that, but I'm very much my own person and to suggest I'm a continuation of any individual is quite disrespectful, not least because I'm a woman".

Many users said that they no longer like or won't vote for Ms Nandy after her statement about the monarchy.

Long-Bailey dismissed the fears from feminist groups that such a change to the law would endanger rights of women, saying: "There doesn't need to be differentiation between women's rights and trans rights".

They now will go on to the online and postal ballot of party members and registered supporters.

Labour members will begin voting on the remaining candidates from Monday 24 February.

Incumbent Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced calls to resign after Labour showed its worst election performance since the 1930s during a recent poll.

There is also a contest running for the next deputy leader of the party, following Tom Watson's resignation in December.

Norwich North nominated Richard Burgon, but Angela Rayner was the choice in Norwich South.

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