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Labour leadership candidates criticise party’s hustings locations

Hustings for the leader and deputy leader elections kick off on Saturday in Liverpool.

A Labour Party supporter wears a rosette in support of the political party (Hannah McKay/PA)
A Labour Party supporter wears a rosette in support of the political party (Hannah McKay/PA)

By Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor

Candidates in the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader have criticised the party’s decision to ignore parts of the so-called “red wall” for its hustings.

Frontrunner Sir Keir Starmer said he was “disappointed” debates would not be held in the South East, east of England or Yorkshire – where Labour lost several key seats.

Wakefield, Don Valley, Great Grimsby and Rother Valley were among long-held Labour constituencies to fall to the Tories in December as the previously impregnable “red wall” of seats in the North and Midlands collapsed.

Hustings for the leader and deputy leader elections kick off on Saturday in Liverpool, with events planned each weekend in cities including Durham, Bristol, Cardiff, Nottingham, Glasgow and London.

There will also be hustings in the West Midlands and Bedford.

The shadow Brexit secretary, who has 75 nominations from the parliamentary party, has written to Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby and the chair of the National Executive Committee Andi Fox calling for hustings in every region.

He said: “I am disappointed that the party has chosen not to organise leadership and deputy leadership hustings in every Labour Party region and nation.

“I am concerned that this decision does not reflect well on the party and will be a step backwards in the whole movement’s determination to take the argument for a radical Labour government back to the country.”

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, who has 28 nominations, said: “As I have repeatedly said, the Labour Party has lost seats for the first time in our history in areas like Bolsover, Wrexham and Stoke.

“The failure to debate the future of our party in communities like these shows that we are part of the problem.”

PA

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