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January 14, 2020

Lewis pulls out of Labour leadership race

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P
Pa
January 14, 2020

LONDON: Clive Lewis has abandoned his bid to become Labour leader, after acknowledging he could not get the required support from his fellow MPs.

The latest figures showed he had five nominations, still 17 short of the 22 required, and he said he decided to pull out to allow his supporters to back other candidates.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry was the only other candidate yet to hit the 22 threshold before the close of nominations on Monday afternoon — with minutes to go she had 21 confirmed supporters.

Lewis said: “At this stage, it’s clear that I won’t get on the ballot. So, I’m standing aside in the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity that I’ve promoted throughout this campaign, so that those who have supported me can recast their nominations.”

Thornberry had until 2.30pm on Monday to secure the 22 nominations from Labour MPs and MEPs needed to go forward to the next stage of the contest.

Four contenders — Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips — already have the numbers theyrequire to go through.With a significant number of MPs yet to decide who to back, Thornberry said at the weekend that she was “fairly confident” of making it.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband said he had nominated Sir Keir as the best candidate to “deliver 21st century socialism”, and deputy leadership candidate Angela Rayner for having “an ability to inspire our party and movement”.In the race for deputy leader, which is running in parallel, three more candidates successfully went through on Monday.