David Miliband ahead in early endorsements

Left Foot Forward is keeping tabs on the endorsement of candidates during Labour's leadership election. David Miliband is narrowly in the lead with 16 to Ed's 14.

The Labour leadership is firmly underway with the candidacies of the two Miliband brothers declared. Left Foot Forward will be keeping tabs on the endorsements of all candidates during the election.

We can exclusively reveal today that David Miliband is narrowly in the lead with 16 endorsements to Ed Miliband’s 14.

• For David Miliband: Hugh Bayley, Ann Coffey, Mary Creagh, Julie Elliot, Jim Fitzpatrick, David Hanson, Alan Johnson, Anne McGuire, Pamela Nash, Chris Ruane, Anas Sarwar, Angela Smith, Mark Tami, Gareth Thomas, Valerie Vaz, and Phil Woolas

• For Ed Miliband: Hilary Benn, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Helen Goodman, Hywel Francis, Peter Hain, David Hamilton, Sadiq Khan, Ian Lucas, Grahame Morris, Stephen Pound, Linda Riordan, Andy Slaughter, Emily Thornberry, and Alan Whitehead.

The full list of Labour MPs endorsements is available here and will be updated as the leadership contest continues.

The candidates are busy today. David Miliband is announcing his candidacy in his South Shields constituency. Ed Miliband writes in today’s Daily Mirror. Ed Balls, who is expected to run, has an article in the Independent where he says, “I have not rushed to a decision on whether to stand in this contest”.

Labour’s National Executive Committee meets tomorrow to decide the timetable. This blog has taken part in a campaign to extend the contest into the autumn. Sunder Katwala at Next Left wrote yesterday that the NEC should announce:

“a short pause to ask the members, canvassing widely and openly for members’ views on what approach, ideas and timetable would enable us all to engage as many people as possible with Labour’s debate and future.”

UPDATE 17.06:

John Rentoul has suggested that I might be trying to “downplay” David Miliband’s campaign. Both lists came from the offices of the respective candidates and I am trying to clarify why it appears that some MPs were excluded from the initial lists. Watch this space.

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