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Who’s who in the Labour leadership race?

The new Labour leader will be announced on April 4 following a contest triggered by Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to stand down.

Labour leadership candidates (PA)
Labour leadership candidates (PA)

By Shaun Connolly, PA Political Correspondent

Five candidates have made it through to the second round of the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

Sir Keir Starmer

The runaway favourite among Labour MPs, Sir Keir faces a tougher task convincing the party’s electorate he is left wing enough to take over from Jeremy Corbyn.

The centrist has moved to beef-up his left-leaning credentials by hiring staff from the Corbyn camp and emphasising his actions as a lawyer supporting radical causes such as helping Poll Tax protesters.

The former director of public prosecutions has taken an early edge in the battle, but critics maintain that a north London knight will not be able to reconnect Labour to the seats in the north of Wales and north of England it lost to Boris Johnson in the general election.

Rebecca Long-Bailey

The shadow business secretary has tried to shrug-off the title of the “continuity Corbyn” candidate.

Despite a sluggish start to her campaign, during which she drew controversy by awarding Jeremy Corbyn 10 out of 10 for his general election performance, the Salford and Eccles MP remains the standard bearer of the left.

A successful lawyer, Ms Long-Bailey emphasises her experience in low-wage jobs such as working in a pawn shop and call centres.

Jess Phillips

The Birmingham Yardley MP is the wild card candidate of the election who hopes to catch a national mood that will propel her to success in the way Jeremy Corbyn unexpectedly did in 2015.

Emphasising the pitch that what you see is what you get, the women’s rights campaigner is saying that people want a different kind of leader who can connect with voters in a more honest way.

The long-term Corbyn critic has warned that Labour is in “big trouble” if it cannot win back the trust of its working-class base.

Emily Thornberry

The shadow foreign secretary struggled to make it over the line with nominations, and like fellow pro-Remain MP Sir Keir, she was largely kept away from the limelight during the general election campaign.

Ms Thornberry joined the party when she was 17 and was motivated by her experiences being raised by her mother, a single parent living on a council estate.

She was first elected as MP for Islington South and Finsbury in 2005.

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(PA Graphics)

Lisa Nandy

The Wigan MP and former shadow cabinet minister launched the Centre For Towns think tank – something which could give her an advantage in understanding why voters in former industrial Labour heartlands switched to the Tories.

She said that too many people “no longer feel they have a voice in our national story” and did not believe that politicians were interested in what they had to say.

Before being elected in 2010, Ms Nandy worked for the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint and The Children’s Society.

PA

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