LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party needs a new leader after veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn said he would step down following his party’s heavy election defeat at the hands of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.
FILE PHOTO: Lisa Nandy Britain’s Shadow Secretary of State for the Energy speaks during the opposition Labour Party’s annual conference in Brighton, southern Britain, September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
Corbyn said he would remain leader temporarily, and a contest to select his replacement is expected to begin in the new year. The next leader will be chosen by a vote of party members and other affiliated or registered supporters.
Here are the likely candidates:
Thornberry, 59, has represented the seat in north London next door to Corbyn’s since 2005 and is Labour’s foreign affairs spokeswoman. She has said she plans to run for the leadership.
A strong supporter of a second Brexit referendum and of remaining in the European Union, Thornberry has said the question for the next leader should not be their position on Brexit but what their plan is for taking on Johnson.
Thornberry joined the Labour Party when she was 17, saying she was motivated by her experience of being raised by a single mother in social housing. She went on to become a human rights barrister.
Starmer, 57, has served as Labour’s Brexit spokesman since October 2016 and is seen as instrumental in pushing the party to back a second referendum on leaving the EU.
He said on Wednesday he was seriously considering running for the leadership, and warned against overreacting to the party’s election defeat by ditching Corbyn’s left-wing agenda entirely. He describes himself as a socialist.