My nomination for leader of the Labour Party

Yesterday I nominated Rushanara Ali for deputy leader.  As I explained in a New Statesman blog, as well as Rushanara’s qualities and the contribution she could make to the party and the country, I wanted to help broaden the debate.  Today John Healey has withdrawn from the deputy leadership contest with just that in mind and I know that many members, whilst sad to see his candidature end, will applaud the sentiments behind his actions. As I said in an earlier blog, we need a broad debate.

In the leadership contest three candidates have enough nominations to make it onto the ballot – and also to win immediate access to the party’s membership list to begin campaigning.  They each have important contributions to make to the debate but there are still important voices within the party unrepresented.

Today I am nominating Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the party. I have a huge amount of respect for Jeremy. Already, when I entered the House five years ago he had a long established reputation as a campaigner of passion, integrity, commitment and consistency. I served with him on the National Executive of the Anti-Apartheid movement in the nineties, indeed I think it is thanks to him that I first entered the hallowed corridors of Westminster on a day pass for an Anti Apartheid meeting. He is well known for his strong advocacy of socialist ideals, principles and policies. There are a number of policy areas on which Jeremy and I do not agree.  For example I do not believe we should spend billions renationalising networks when we there is such a desperate need to invest in the NHS and I advocate multilateral rather than unilateral disarmament.  But I respect his views. More importantly in this context, many members share his views or would at least like to hear them debated. I asked members and supporters in my constituency who I should nominate and the overwhelming feedback – including to be fair from many who do not live in Newcastle Central – was that Jeremy Corbyn should be on the ballot.*

That is not to say I believe he should be the next leader of the Labour Party. As I said in my blog, thanks to the reforms of Ed Miliband, in these leadership contests MPs act as gatekeepers – we do not decide the outcome, our votes are worth no more than any member or supporter – but we do decide who gets on the ballot. I believe it would be wrong if we were only to open the gate wide enough to let a two or three candidates through. That is why I am nominating Jeremy Corbyn.

 

*A small number did ask me to nominate Mary Creagh, but I cannot do both

7 thoughts on “My nomination for leader of the Labour Party

  1. diane jones

    This is brilliant news and I greatly appreciate Chi’s contribution to facilitating a wide debate in the run up to the election of the next leader of our party.

  2. Andrew Fisher

    Thank you Chi. It’s a very decent thing you have done – and many members will be hoping other MPs follow your honourable stand.

    Just one minor point – bringing the railways into public ownership doesn’t have to cost a penny. You can bring the franchises back in-house as they expire.

  3. David Hardman

    Well done Chi. I don’t agree with JC on some things as well, just like I don’t agree with all the other candidates on some things. I want the opportunity to hear them debate the issues and then I’ll decide who I think would be best to lead the country, if they are given the opportunity.

  4. Paull

    Thanks Chi for nominating Corbyn in the Labour leadership election. The debate he has generated is the best thing for Labour and therefore for the country in the long term. It was the right and decent thing to do.

  5. Erin Slack

    Thank you Chi for nominating Jeremy. I live in Newcastle and have been very moved by Jeremy’s vision for the party. I am sad you do not entirely agree with his plans but I immensely respect, appreciate and admire your decision to nominate him and your honesty on your views. I am proud to have you as my MP.

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