Lisa Nandy takes a step closer to Labour leadership
Although Keir Starmer is seen by the bookies as the favourite to lead the Labour Party after Jeremy Corbyn’s demise, as well as many opinion polls, one of the candidates has taken a step closer to securing the position.
It is no secret that it is the cause of some embarrassment that, as yet, the Labour Party has never had a female leader, let alone a woman prime minister, despite their advocacy for women’s rights, race and diversity.
It is therefore with some consternation that although their are four women running in the campaign, it is the only man who is trending so high.
The next hustings will take place on February 1, but yesterday it was revealed that five will become four, as Birmingham MP Jess Phillips will be standing down and lending her support to Starmer and Nandy.
40 year old Wigan MP Nandy, came to the forefront during the Brexit debate, highlighting the issues of representing a leave constituency when confronted with Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit tactics.
Since declaring her position in the leadership race, she has been grilled by Andrew Neil, and equipped herself impressively and above all does not align herself with the Corbyn camp.
Jess Phillips endorsement of Nandy yesterday will be another feather in her cap, and it is expected that the former’s supporters will gravitate quite naturally to Nandy’s corner. She explained, “I think both Lisa and Keir can unite the party and begin the process of winning back trust with the country”, but that, ”Lisa will be my number one preference.”
Nandy is an advocate for changes the tax laws, which would penalise the rich, which many may sense is a strategy that while receiving popular support may alienate the middle classes. However, she is nowhere near as radical as Corbyn and talks eloquently about how and why this would benefit all.
By comparison shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey is popular with Union members, but seen by many as too similar to Corbyn to usher in a new socialist strategy that is popular at the ballot box. Famously giving Corbyn a rating of 10/10 for his leadership, Long-Bailey certainly showed loyalty but she is now at pains to point out that she is, “ a completely different person from Jeremy because I am, and I’ll be taking the party in completely different directions.”
Phillips’ resignation from the race, and Emily Thornberry’s struggle to find union endorsement suggests this is now a three horse race, and with Long-Bailey’s Corbynist heritage, it looks as though Starmer and Nandy will be in a two horse race, come the finishing line.