Labour Party keeps options open on leadership contest

The four leadership candidates for the Labour Party.

The four leadership candidates for the Labour Party. - Credit: PA

Ipswich Labour Party has decided not to nominate any of the candidates for the leadership or deputy leadership of the party – but has invited all of them to visit the constituency to make a pitch for support.

Tom Watson, who is standing for the deputy leadership of the party, visited last week and spoke to 80 members from across the county.

He is standing on a platform of modernising the party organisation while retaining strong links to the Trade Union movement and persuading more people to join it.

Before his visit, a meeting of about 40 members of the Ipswich Labour Party decided not to nominate any candidate because they felt they could not be sure of representing the views of all 400 members in the town.

They felt it would be better to give members the opportunity to meet and question the candidates if possible over the next two months before the deadline for the receipt of votes on September 10.

The new leader and deputy leader of the party will be unveiled at a special conference on September 12.

Another candidate for deputy leader, Ben Bradshaw, has already indicated that he is likely to visit Ipswich over the next few weeks and party officials are hoping that others will come during August which is likely to see some keen campaigning.

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Labour agent John Cook said: “The local party wants to give our members the opportunity to vote for whoever they feel would be best for the job.

“Even those Constituency Labour Parties who have nominated a candidate cannot be sure that candidate has the support of the majority of its members.”