Labour candidates scrabble for support ahead of 2.30pm deadline
Contenders to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader will learn by 2.30pm today whether they have enough backing from fellow MPs to stay in the contest.
While Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips have gathered the 22 signatures needed, Emily Thornberry (on 10 endorsements) and Clive Lewis (on four) are still scrambling for names.
In the race for deputy leader, which is running in parallel, two candidates – Angela Rayner and Ian Murray – are already through.
Three others – Richard Burgon on 18, Rosena Allin-Khan with 17 and Dawn Butler with 15 – are hoping they can also make the cut this afternoon.
Those who qualify in the two contests then need to get the nominations of 33 local constituency parties or three Labour affiliates – including at least two trade unions – to enter the final postal ballot of party members and registered supporters.
Over the weekend, the left-wing activist group Momentum, which helped propel Corbyn to the leadership in 2015, said it was recommending support for Long-Bailey and Rayner.
It will now ask its members whether they agree with the recommendations, with ballots – consisting of just two questions – to be sent out this next week.