Lisa Nandy has officially won enough support to be on the ballot paper of Labour leadership candidates.
The Wigan MP was endorsed by Chinese For Labour (CfL), making her only the second contender to secure a place in the election.
Those hoping to replace Jeremy Corbyn need the support of three Labour affiliates, including two trade unions, or the backing of 5% of constituency Labour parties (CLPs).
Ms Nandy was already backed by the National Union of Miners and GMB, but made it over the line with CfL’s endorsement on Wednesday.
It came after Jess Phillips, who recently pulled out of the leadership race, told Sky News she now backed the “deeply impressive” Ms Nandy.
“I have found that not just on a personal level but I think the public view and the stuff that she has been doing have really made her stand out,” she said.
“So for me I would be happy if the Labour Party were led by Lisa Nandy or Keir Starmer…
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“I think Lisa Nandy is a brilliant woman and would be a brilliant leader of the Labour Party.”
She added that on her ballot “I would vote Lisa one and Keir two”.
Ms Nandy was caught off-guard by the endorsement when asked about it at a speech.
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“She, like most of the candidates, is a friend of mine so I’m very pleased to hear it,” said the backbencher, adding with a laugh: “If she’s got about 250,000 friends that she could also persuade then we could just cancel this contest right now.”
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Ms Nandy is less well-known among Labour members but has won praise for speaking up about the party’s electoral challenge in towns.
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir are further ahead in the polls, with the latter becoming the first candidate to win enough support to guarantee a spot on the ballot paper.
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Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, has also got her sights set on the top job.
The result will be announced on Saturday, 4 April.
SOURCE : https://news.sky.com/story/jess-phillips-will-vote-for-lisa-nandy-in-labour-leadership-race-11914849