2020 Labour Party leadership contest

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Event.png 2020 Labour Party leadership contest  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
2020 LPLE.jpg
Date21 February 2020 - 4 April 2020
DescriptionKeir Starmer replaced Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party (UK)

The 2020 Labour Party leadership contest was triggered after current leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said that he intended to resign following the party's poor results in the UK/2019 General Election. The contest was held alongside a deputy leadership election.

The results were announced on 4 April 2020.[1] The Labour Party tweeted:

Congratulations to @Keir Starmer, the new Leader of the Labour Party![2]
Congratulations to @Angela Rayner, the new Deputy Leader of the Labour Party![3]


By 6 January 2020, six candidates had announced their intention to stand for the leadership: frontbenchers Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis, and backbenchers Jess Phillips and Lisa Nandy.

On 8 January 2020, Corbyn-loyalist Barry Gardiner was reported to be seeking support from MPs in a bid to get on the ballot,[4] but ended his campaign the next day saying:

“I am now clear that at this late stage I cannot secure sufficient nominations to proceed to the next round. I have therefore decided not to stand for the leadership at this time.”[5]

Clive Lewis withdrew from the contest shortly before close of nominations having failed to receive the required 22 nominations from MPs and MEPs.[6]

Jess Phillips was without any nominations from trade unions, affiliate bodies or local parties when she withdrew on 21 January 2020.[7]

On 14 February 2020, Emily Thornberry was eliminated from the Labour leadership race after failing to secure enough nominations, which leaves Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy in the running to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.[8]

Deputy leadership

The deputy leadership contest was triggered on 6 November 2019 by the resignation of Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

All five deputy leadership candidates achieved the requisite 22 MP/MEP nominations by the 13 January 2020 deadline and proceeded to the next stage of the contest: Angela Rayner, Ian Murray, Dawn Butler, Rosena Allin-Khan and Richard Burgon.[9]


Timetable for the contest:

7 January: Nominations open from MPs and MEPs. Candidates will need to secure the nominations of least 10 per cent (22) of the party's MPs and MEPs in order to stand.
13 January: Nominations from MPs and MEPs close, 2.30pm
14 January: Registered supporters applications open, 5pm
15 January: Nominations from CLPs and affiliates open. Those who have enough nominations to enter must be supported by either five per cent of all constituency Labour parties or three Labour affiliates - of which at least two must be trade unions - in order to proceed.
16 January: Registered supporters applications close, 5pm
20 January: Deadline for new members and affiliated supporters, 5pm
14 February: Nominations from CLPs and affiliates close
21 February: Ballot opens
2 April: Ballot closes, midday
4 April: Special conference to announce result and the new Labour Party leader[10]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
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Document:Antisemitism threats will keep destroying Labourblog post12 February 2020Jonathan CookIf we are only allowed to gently chide Israel in ways that cannot meaningfully advance Palestinian rights, if we are prevented from discussing the strategies of staunchly pro-Israel lobbyists to silence Israel’s critics, if we are denied the right to push for an international boycott of Israel of the kind that helped blacks in South Africa end their own oppression, then nothing is going to change for the Palestinians.
Document:How Keir Starmer Sabotaged Rebecca Long-BaileyArticle26 June 2020Ronan BurtenshawRebecca Long-Bailey’s approach to schools reopening had been entirely vindicated: she backed teachers and their unions as they changed the political terrain and forced the Tory government into a concession. This was politics in the best traditions of the labour movement but was anathema to Sir Keir Starmer.
Document:Labour's next leader has already betrayed the leftblog post21 February 2020Jonathan CookThe next Leader of the Labour Party is already a prisoner to the "institutional antisemitism" narrative. That means their hands are chained not only to support for Israel, but to the reactionary politics in which Israel as a Jewish state makes sense – a worldview that embraces its style of ethnic, chauvinist, militaristic, segregationist politics.
Document:Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour leadership campaign marks end of 'project Corbyn'blog post20 January 2020Robert StevensNot only does Labour continue to be politically dominated by the Blairites, but should Long-Bailey succeed her mentor then she would do their bidding all down the line. Unity with the Blairite right was the leitmotif of Long-Bailey’s campaign rally.
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