Announcing it, he mentioned that it was “clear that I won’t get on the ballot” and he was pulling out “in spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity”. His withdrawal worked for Emily Thornberry as before the 2.30pm deadline of today, she managed to reach the threshold necessary to get her over the line and into the leadership contest.
In his statement, MP Lewis said:
“For me, this election wasn’t about just the leadership of the Labour party but about our survival as an engaging and relevant political movement that could win a path to power.
At this stage, it’s clear that I won’t get on the ballot. So, I’m standing aside in the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity that I’ve promoted throughout this campaign, so that those who have supported me can recast their nominations.
Whilst I’m disappointed not to have progressed further, I’m proud to have led the debate on key issues such as progressive alliances, electoral reform, democracy in our country, democracy within the Labour party, racism and diversity, and the climate crisis. These issues aren’t going away and given the scale of our last defeat, need to tackled head on with sharp ideas and credible strategy so we can win the next election for the millions of people who deserve a Labour government.”
The five leadership candidates still in the contest are Sir Keir Starmer, with 86 nominations, Rebecca Long-Bailey, with 33, Lisa Nandy, with 30, Jess Phillips with 23 and Emily Thornberry who managed to gain the required 22 threshold of nominations before the 2.30pm deadline. As for the deputy leadership candidates still in the contest, they are: Angela Rayner, Ian Murray, Dawn Butler, Rosenal Allin-Khan and Richard Burgon.
To get on the final ballot for members though, candidates must either get nominations from 5% of constituency Labour parts or get nominations from at least three affiliate organisations, of which at least two must be unions, collectively comprising at least 5% of the affiliate vote. The affiliate process opens the Wednesday and runs for a month, closing on Friday 14 February.