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.
Britain’s Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during the debate on the Queen’s Speech in the House of Commons Chamber, in London, Britain December 19, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS
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.
Announcing his plan to run for leader, Lewis, 48, said he believed the party’s members needed to have a greater say over selecting candidates and determining policy.
Before becoming a member of parliament in 2015, Lewis was a television news reporter for more than 10 years. He was also a member of the army reserve, serving in Afghanistan in 2009.