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Thornberry to run for Labour leadership

Islington South and Finsbury MP was re-elected to Parliament for the fifth time in last week’s general election, as Labour suffered their worst loss since the 1930s

20 December, 2019 — By Sam Ferguson

Emily Thornberry looks set to face competition from colleagues including Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and David Lammy

ISLINGTON South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry has become the first candidate to confirm she will run to become the next leader of the Labour Party.

The 59-year-old former barrister said she had warned the Labour leadership against voting for an early election, branding the decision “an act of catastrophic political folly”.

The Conservatives went on to rack up an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons at last Thursday’s general election, with leader Jeremy Corbyn – Ms Thornberry’s fellow Islington MP – announcing afterwards that he will step down.

“The single issue of Brexit should not be enough to give [Boris] Johnson a five-year mandate to enact his agenda on every issue,” said Ms ­Thorn­berry, writing in the Guardian.

“Instead, I said we should insist on a referendum on his proposed deal, to get the issue of Brexit out of the way before any general election.”

In the same article, the shadow Foreign Secretary spoke of “taking the fight” to Mr Johnson when he held the post of Foreign Secretary, arguing she “pummelled him every week”.

Ms Thornberry said: “Each time, the mask slipped, and we saw the real man – a mendacious, lazy, dangerous charlatan, unable to hide behind the tiresome smokescreen of bluster he usually relies on. He hated it, especially coming from a woman.”

She was re-elected to Parliament for the fifth time in last week’s election, as Labour suffered their worst loss since the 1930s.

Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme yesterday (Thursday), she said Mr Corbyn was “badly let down” by his advisers going into the election.

She added: “I think that Jeremy has been badly let down. I think that Jeremy has been badly advised. I think there have been times when we have made decisions and that hasn’t been what has been briefed out to the media.

“That has undermined him, and drained away, I think too often, his authenticity, which was something which was so important and resonated so much with people in 2017.”

Others who are expected to put themselves forward to be leader include Holborn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer, Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, and Tottenham MP David Lammy.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Jess Phillips and Yvette Cooper are also being touted as possible contenders.

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