LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s opposition Labour Party will elect a new leader after veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn said he would step down following his party’s general election defeat by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in December.
The Labour leadership ballot will run from Feb. 21 to April 2, with results announced on April 4. The party will also elect a new deputy leader. The two will be chosen by a vote of party members and other affiliated or registered supporters.
Here are the candidates who are still in the race:
Starmer, 57, has been Labour’s Brexit spokesman since October 2016 and is seen as having played a key role in pushing the party to back a second referendum on leaving the EU.
Starmer says he had spent his life fighting injustice, and is now ready to take on Johnson’s Conservatives. Seen as a party centrist, Starmer has warned against overreacting to the party’s election defeat by ditching Corbyn’s left-wing agenda entirely. He describes himself as a socialist.
He is a barrister who served as a senior public prosecutor before entering parliament, and was knighted in 2014 for services to law and criminal justice.
Long-Bailey, 40, is seen as a strong contender because she has close ties with trade unions, who are hugely influential within Labour, and is close to Corbyn and his senior ally John McDonnell.
She represents the northern English constituency of Salford and Eccles and serves as Corbyn’s business spokeswoman. Her first job was working in a pawnbroker’s, and she went on to become a solicitor in the healthcare sector.
Announcing her candidacy, Long-Bailey said Labour needed a socialist leader committed to delivering the policies developed under Corbyn.
Nandy, a 40-year-old former Labour policy chief for energy and climate change, has said the party will become irrelevant unless it changes course.
A lawmaker who has represented the northern English town of Wigan since 2010, Nandy says Labour should focus more on towns, where, she believes “there is a strong feeling ... that Labour stopped listening long ago”.
She resigned her energy post in 2016, one of several so-called “shadow ministers” who quit in protest against Corbyn. “He is unable to form a broad, inclusive shadow cabinet that draws on the best of our movement’s left and right traditions,” she wrote at the time.
Jan. 15 - Second round of nominations opens, for local Labour Parties and affiliated organisations such as trade unions.
Feb. 21 - Ballot opens.
April 2 - Ballot closes.
April 4 - Special conference to announce the result.
Reporting by William James, Elizabeth Piper, Kylie MacLellan and Costas Pitas; Editing by Frances Kerry
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