Burnham vying with three rivals for leader

BOROUGH MP Andy Burnham will be part of a four-way race for the leadership of the Labour Party, reports suggest.
Andy Burnham, MP Leigh, is in the race for the Labour leadershipAndy Burnham, MP Leigh, is in the race for the Labour leadership
Andy Burnham, MP Leigh, is in the race for the Labour leadership

The deadline for the party’s parliamentarians to state who they are backing has now passed. MPs with the support of 35 colleagues will then go forward to the ballot .

Mr Burnham, the MP for Leigh, looks likely to be up against Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and Jeremy Corbyn.

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Mr Corbyn, MP for Islington North, reached the 35 endorsement mark just before the deadline, according to reports.

Official confirmation of the four candidates is expected later on Monday.

Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield, pulled out of the race on Friday.

Mr Burnham, the shadow health secretary, had gone beyond the 50 mark late last week with borough colleagues Lisa Nandy and Yvonne Fovargue supporting his bid.

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The Leigh MP’s campaign was boosted last week by the support of former Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, who himself had been tipped as a potential replacement for Ed Miliband.

In previous leadership races, candidates who have surpassed the 35 endorsement mark have encouraged supporters to back other contenders to increase the numbers on the ballot.

But Mr Burnham has indicated he would only help candidates in this way if they are “missing one of two” nominations. Rivals Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford and shadow home secretary, was approaching 60 endorsements. And Liz Kendall, MP for Leicester West, has secured at least 40.

The result will be announced on September 12 at a venue yet to be specified, ahead of the party conference which starts on September 27 in Brighton. A hustings period will begin on June 17 with August 12 the last date to register as a party member to vote.