Labour leadership candidate says hundreds of men 'tell her to shut up and not run'

Andy WellsFreelance Writer
Jess Phillips claims hundreds of men tell her not to stand as Labour leader (PA)
Jess Phillips claims hundreds of men tell her not to stand as Labour leader (PA)

Jess Phillips has claimed hundreds of men have told her she should “shut up” and not stand to be Labour leader.

Ms Phillips, who is one of six MPs hoping to take over from Jeremy Corbyn, insisted she would not be standing down - and urged supporters to join her campaign.

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In a tweet, she wrote: “I get hundreds of men on Twitter telling me to shut up and not run. I’m not going to be quiet. Join our campaign and annoy these trolls.”

Fellow leadership candidate, Sir Keir Starmer, has already reached the threshold of 22 MPs to enter the second round.

Ms Phillips currently has 15 backers before Monday’s deadline.

Other contenders to declare for the top job are shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, shadow Treasury minister Clive Lewis, backbencher Lisa Nandy and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey - dubbed the “continuity Corbyn” candidate.

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Early front-runner Sir Keir will visit union backers on Thursday in a bid to maintain his edge in the competition.

The shadow Brexit secretary is going to Unison headquarters after the country's biggest union endorsed him in the battle to replace Mr Corbyn.

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner has also confirmed he is "considering" a late bid for the Labour leadership.

(Top, left to right) Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Keir Starmer, (bottom, left to right) Rebecca Long-Bailey, Clive Lewis and Emily Thornbury, the six Labour Party MPs fighting to become leader (PA)
(Top, left to right) Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Keir Starmer, (bottom, left to right) Rebecca Long-Bailey, Clive Lewis and Emily Thornbury, the six Labour Party MPs fighting to become leader (PA)

The Brent North MP, who has developed a following on the left of the party for his defence of Mr Corbyn's policies, would be the seventh candidate to declare if he formally enters the race.

Asked whether he was intending to stand for Labour leader, Mr Gardiner told the PA news agency he was "considering it at present”.

Such a move could damage support for Ms Long-Bailey who has tried to position herself as the standard bearer for the left.

Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner is said to be considering standing as Labour leader (PA)
Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner is said to be considering standing as Labour leader (PA)

Mr Gardiner held government roles under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, voted for the Iraq War in 2003 and backed David Miliband as Labour leader in 2010.

Would-be candidates have until Monday to secure backing to make it into the second round of the battle which will see the new leader announced on April 4.

Contenders who receive enough nominations will enter phase two of the contest, where they have to secure the backing of 5% of constituency Labour branches or at least three affiliate groups, two of which must be made up of trade unions, to get on the final ballot paper to go to the membership.

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