Clive Lewis pulls out of Labour leadership race after failing to get support of MPs

Posted On: 
13th January 2020

Clive Lewis has pulled out of the race to become Labour leader after failing to get enough MPs to back him

Clive Lewis pulled out of the race after only getting four Labour MPs to support his candidacy
Credit: 
PA Images

With less than an hour to go before the deadline for nominations he had only secured the support of four colleagues, meaning he was well short of the 22 needed to reach the next round.

The shadow Treasury minister said he was “disappointed not to have progressed further”, but added he was “proud to have led the debate” on issues such as alliances with other parties, electoral reform and internal Labour democracy.

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He 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.”

It means he and the four MPs who initially backed him are free to endorse another candidates in the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn.

Emily Thornberry remains the only other candidate not to reach the threshold so far, but it is understood that she may get the required level of support in time for the 2.30pm deadline.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary is still on 13 nominations, while Keir Starmer leads the way with 78, while Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy are neck and neck on 28, and Jess Philipps is on 26.

Mr Lewis, a former BBC journalist, had said he was standing on a platform calling for serious internal changes within Labour, saying it must “modernise of die”.

He said on Monday: "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.”

He added: “I now throw down the gauntlet to other Labour leadership candidates and ask them if they are brave enough, strong enough, to take forward some of the issues in my manifesto.

“In the coming weeks I’ll be watching their responses closely before deciding who to support.”