Corbyn makes late bid for support as deadline looms

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn
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LABOUR members will discover tomorrow whether the race to be the party’s leader will be a three or four horse race.

Monday is deadline day for nominations and of the four declared candidates, only Jeremy Corbyn remains short of the 35 declarations of support from fellow MPs necessary to secure a place on the ballot.

The Islington North MP today staged a last gasp attempt to garner the 13 additional nominations he needs to take part in the race triggered by the post-election resignation of Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband.

Mr Corbyn said: “What I’m trying to do is to say there is a Labour tradition here, a Labour tradition of public enterprise, of public ownership, a Labour tradition of investment in social, health services, which I think is a very strong one and what brings a lot of people into the party and brings a lot of people to vote for us in the first place.

“I want to raise those issues, I also want to raise the issues of nuclear weapons, of Trident, of human rights and justice, just to say to everyone in the party - there are a lot of people out there who actually want the Labour Party to represent what they, in their gut feelings, are all about.

“I’m not looking for this for some personal aggrandisement, I’m much too old for that kind of thing, I’m doing this because I want there to be a serious debate in the party in which those points of view are heard, are put, are debated.”

Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham and Shadow Care Minister Liz Kendall have already secured the nominations they need.

Debate continues within Labour over whether the next leader should have to face re-election before voters go to the polls again.

Former Labour Minister Frank Field suggested the party should make it easier to unseat a leader and claimed he had the support of colleagues including Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Field said: “We, like the Conservatives, must build into our parliamentary rules a trapdoor mechanism through which leaders likely to fail can be quickly dropped.

“This is why I’ve written to eight senior fellow Labour MPs asking them to back a change in the Parliamentary Labour Party’s rulebook which would give us a similar despatching policy as the Tories have.”