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Labor leadership: Jess Phillips to update supporters amid speculation she could pull out of race – Sky News, Sky.com

Labor leadership: Jess Phillips to update supporters amid speculation she could pull out of race – Sky News, Sky.com
             

Labor leadership candidate Jess Phillips will send her supporters a “message about her candidacy” later today, amid speculation she could pull out of the race.

The Birmingham Yardley MP is among five candidates hoping to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labor leader.

However, her leadership campaign has struggled to gather momentum.

  

Labour leadership candidates (left to right) Jess Phillips, Emily Thornberry, Lisa Nandy, Sir Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey

      

Image:
         (From left to right) Ms Phillips, Emily Thornberry, Lisa Nandy, Sir Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey       

She has yet to win the required backing of either trade unions or local constituency parties that are needed in order to make it onto the final ballot paper.

On Tuesday, Ms Phillips was missing as leadership candidates pitched for the support of the GMB trade union, although aides said her absence was due to an unavoidable appointment elsewhere.

She previously described her performance at Saturday’s first leadership hustings event, held in Liverpool, as “awful” and admitted she had “stopped being real”.

Vowing to ditch any further attempt to appear “statesmanlike”, Ms Phillips added in an article for the Guardian: “I might not look the most like a prime minister in this race, because apparently looking like a prime minister is a thing.

“I cannot win that war, so I am going to stop fighting it. I am going to do the thing that made tens of thousands of people ask me to run to be the leader.

“I am going to say what I think. I am going to give honest answers. I probably won’t win, but I am guessing that I might just inspire others to give it a go too. “

    

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Time for men ‘to pass the mic’                 

Ms Phillips is competing against shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy for the party’s leadership.

There is a “pretty low” likelihood that anyone other than Sir Keir or Ms Long-Bailey will win the contest, Ms Phillips has admitted.

Sir Keir became the first candidate to make it through to the final stage of the Labor leadership election – a ballot of party members – after securing the support of a second major trade union on Monday.

The Usdaw shopworkers’ union became the third affiliate to back Sir Keir’s campaign.

Ms Long-Bailey and Ms Nandy have secured the nomination of one trade union each, but Ms Phillips and Ms Thornberry have yet to receive any.

This has left them with the potentially trickier prospect of attempting to win the support of (local constituency labor parties in order to make it onto the final ballot paper.

Ms Thornberry refused to say who she would vote for out of Sir Keir or Ms Long-Bailey is she does not make the final shortlist.

) “I’m not getting into this,” she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “I’m in this to win it.”

The new Labor leader will be announced on 4 April following the ballot of the party’s membership.

    

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