Jeremy Corbyn is set to resign from the leadership after four years following the election results.
After losing 59 seats in yesterday’s election, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has indicated that he will no longer lead the party. He hasn’t yet announced exactly when and if he’ll resign, instead explaining that he hopes to take some time to “reflect” on the election results.
But after two lost elections, there’s not much doubt Corbyn will be forced to resign – so who is most likely to replace the man who changed Labour as we knew it?
The leadership race within Labour is a tough one – after all, a lot hangs in the balance for the party now. They’ll be looking for a safe candidate, but not to revert to the times of Blair. Plus, the final choice lays with Labour members, many of whom signed up to the party in support of Corbyn.
So who could be in for the running?
The MP for Birmingham Yardley started out as a backbencher after being elected in 2015, but she quickly made a name for herself by campaigning against violence against women fervently.
She has spoken openly about her desire for leadership in recent months, and during election coverage, she refused to rule herself out as Corbyn’s successor.
“If people trust me then yes I will take a role in rebuilding,” she said on the night, before insisting that she would not “sit here and make your headlines tonight.”
While Phillips will be popular among the centre-left, she will have to work harder to secure the vote of the “Corbynistas” in the party.
Similarly to Phillips, Starmer was also elected in 2015 as the MP for Holborn and St Pancras. In that time, he became the shadow Brexit minister and one of the better known 650 MPs.
And now, he is the bookies favourite to take on the role of leader. Why? Because, unlike Philips, he caters to those who supported many of the policies that Corbyn implemented in the 2019 manifesto. However, he will then have to win those who are hoping to move away from Corbyn’s Labour.
If Angela Rayner were to run in the leadership contest, she’d sit in the middle of Starmer and Phillips with her politics.
She has spoken openly about how life under Blair’s government helped her, but being a woman who left school at 16 to have her first child, Rayner understands the plight and needs of today’s single mothers and other vulnerable groups in society who need Corbyn like policies to help them.
Some people may think McDonnell will be in the running for leadership, after all he was essentially Corbyn’s right-hand man. He helped create many of the popular policies in the recent manifesto, and he’d be popular with a large portion of the Labour membership for his closeness to the soon-to-be departed leader, but McDonnell has straight out ruled any bid for the leadership.
“I’m not standing for leader of the Labour Party, I’ve said that time and time again – either as a temporary or as a permanent.
“That’s not what I want to do,” he said on election night to Sky News.
The MP for Salford and Eccles is the second favourite among bookies to win the leadership. She represents many of Corbyn’s ideas for Labour but does it in the form of a much younger woman who has only been in parliament since 2015.
And all the others
As well as the above, Yvette Cooper, Emily Thornberry, Dianne Abbott, Dawn Butler, Clive Lewis, and Jonathan Ashworth could all throw their hat into the ring.
Meka Beresford is a freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter.
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