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Lisa Nandy launches Labour leadership election campaign in Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 January 2020

Lisa Nandy launching her Labour leadership campaign in Dagenham. Picture: Sophie Cox

Lisa Nandy launching her Labour leadership campaign in Dagenham. Picture: Sophie Cox

Sophie Cox

Prospective Labour leader Lisa Nandy has urged voters to "be brave" as she launched her leadership campaign in Dagenham. She said otherwise the party "will die".

The former shadow energy secretary visited the Londoneast-UK site in Rainham Road South where she warned of the stark decision facing party members ahead of the April leadership election.

She said that Labour cannot "steady the ship or play it safe" in recovering from its worst general election result since 1935, or the party "will die and we will deserve to".

Ms Nandy is one of five prospective Labour leaders to secure the required amount of nominations from the party's MPs and MEPs in the quest to replace Jeremy Corbyn, who announced he would be stepping down after the general election defeat.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Jess Phillips, Emily Thornberry and Sir Keir Starmer all passed the 10 per cent threshold - equivalent to 22 nominations - ahead of the deadline, which was at 2.30pm today (Monday, January 13).

Clive Lewis withdrew from the leadership race shortly before the cut-off point after acknowledging he could not secure enough support.

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Ms Nandy was joined by Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas - one of those to give her a nomination - and Labour party members from across east London to launch her leadership bid.

"This is the home of the Ford machinists, where inspirational women stood forward and fought and won that landmark battle for equal pay," she said.

"In doing so, they showed what women could do, and they showed what all of us could do."

She said that their sort of leadership was what the country needed, instead of "the man who stands and pronounces at the despatch box" at the House of Commons.

Ms Nandy, who has been the MP for Wigan since 2010, stressed that the party needed to appeal to voters from across the country and not just those in the so-called red wall constituencies - traditional Labour strongholds in the Midlands and the north of England,

"The path back to power for Labour will never be built along the red wall," she said.

"The path back to power for the Labour Party will be built right across that red bridge that stretches from our major metropolitan cities, through our suburbs and into our smaller towns and villages as well."

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