Members of the Labour Party start voting for new leader and deputy leader this week
Rosena Allin-Khan with Putney MP Fleur Anderson & Battersea MP Marsha de Cordova on election night
Members of the Labour Party will start voting for their new leader and deputy leader this week, with Tooting MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan hoping to become deputy.
Ms Allin-Khan is a popular figure in Tooting and still works shifts at St George’s Hospital.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service about how she would juggle her work between the community and the party she said: “With my A&E shifts I do those around my MP work, usually night shifts or over a weekend or during the recess, and I’m so committed to Tooting I very often work seven-days-a-week.
“The community see that. That is how I have held my seat and turned a marginal seat safe, and I believe Tooting knows that I’m always going to go back to them. As deputy leader I would be taking so many of the messages I hear from Tooting and using that to inform the national debate.
This weekend she released a rather unusual campaign video detailing reasons why members shouldn’t vote for her – including those who do not want a radical Labour government, who don’t think the party needs to take action against racists, homopohobes and misogynists, and those who want to continue infighting.
A recent favourability poll by Lord Ashcroft showed her in second place, behind favourite Angela Rayner, but Ms Allin-Khan has the lowest number of nominations from constituency parties – totalling just 56 compared to Ms Rayner’s 363.
Unsurprisingly, Tooting Constituency Labour Party endorsed Ms Allin-Khan for deputy leader, as did nearby Putney and Twickenham CLPs.
However, Battersea endorsed Dawn Butler, while Kingston and Surbtion and Richmond Park gave their support to Angela Rayner.
Voting will close on 2 April, with the results announced at a special conference two days later.
Sir Keir Starmer, the party’s Brexit spokesman, is regarded as the front-runner in the race for leader, having won the most nominations from unions and affiliates as well as constituency Labour parties, while Angela Rayner is seen as the favourite to win deputy leader.
Members and supporters can vote via email or by postal ballot, which will be delivered to their home.
Voting works using a ranking system with members ranking the candidates in order of preference.
If a candidate fails to get more than half the first preference votes, the second preference votes of the lowest-ranked candidate are redistributed until the contest produces a winner.
The race for leader is between Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, and Keir Starmer.
Candidates for deputy leader are Rosena Allin-Khan, Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Ian Murray and Angela Rayner.
Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter
February 25, 2020