Leadership Nomination

_83620460_labourleadershipcomposite.jpgI surveyed Bermondsey and Old Southwark members and registered supporters’ views on nominating a leadership candidate. I told members I’d like to nominate Mary Creagh and she topped the poll. I think she offered the freshest choice, with the most experience outside politics. Sadly, Mary withdrew from the race on Friday.

I also strongly believe the Labour Party needs a woman leader to take us into the 2020 election. As Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall had reached the threshold (35 MPs) and were already on the ballot, I could have abstained from re-nominating. But members and registered supporters’ joint second choice was Jeremy Corbyn. Some close friends, councillors and campaigners who helped much towards my 7th May win and from across the spectrum of views within Labour also sought my intervention. I have today respected their views and re-nominated, helping Jeremy Corbyn make the final ballot.

Whilst I respect Jeremy, I won’t be backing him for leader. Nor do I think he will win the support of the full membership. With almost 1,000 members and registered supporters in my constituency already, I am not worried about ‘entryist’ tactics of the hard left militant variety distorting the final result. We should not forget that David Miliband won members’ votes in 2010, despite the final outcome.

I am also hopeful that Jeremy’s inclusion allows people who voted Green, SNP or other parties in May to see the range of views within the Labour Party and re-engage longer term to ensure we win back Government in 2020. Many have been in touch over the weekend and I hope they respect my nomination but acknowledge it is not support for Jeremy.

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commented 2015-07-26 07:58:51 +0100
I voted Green in the last election because Labour didn’t strike me as fighting for anti-austerity. However, Jeremy Corbyn seems to be passionate about it. I will probably vote Green again, but if Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader I may swing to Labour.
commented 2015-07-16 18:36:22 +0100
So, let me clarify? You’ve checked with your constituents and the membership, yet wish to ignore their wishes because you’re not gender blind enough to back the choice candidate and you think a woman needs to lead the party? I’m all for equality, but even as a feminist I strongly believe that the direction the party should take is one where inequality is minimised, not one where token female leadership pushes the country on a continued path of social dishesion and widens the gap beween the haves and have nots in our country.
commented 2015-06-15 16:00:16 +0100
Thank you Neil for your continuing openness, honesty and for your pragmatism. I appreciate that in my newly elected MP! I’m grateful that your action has helped to ensure the wider debate I believe we need in the Party to shape our future.

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