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Wednesday, 9 June 2010

John McDonnell withdraws from Labour leadership battle

John McDonnell has withdrawn from the Labour leadership battle with a matter of hours before nominations close.

John McDonnell had just 16 nominations at the time of his withdrawl, less than half the number required to go through to be included on the ballot paper.

John McDonnell is hoping that by adding his 16 nominations to the 11 that Diane Abbott already has that she can then get the final 6 needed to go through onto the ballot paper.

Ed Balls, David Miliband and Ed Miliband all have at least the 33 nominations required and Andy Burnham is now claiming that he also has 33 nominations.

Explaining why he was pulling out of the race, John McDonnell said:
"I stood for the Labour leadership as the candidate of the Left and trade union movement so that there could be a proper debate about Labour's future in which all the wings of the party were fully represented.

"It is now clear that I am unlikely to secure enough nominations and so I am withdrawing in the hope that we can at least secure a woman on the ballot paper."
Yesterday, acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said she was nominating Diane Abbott because she did not want to see a "men-only" contest where there has been wide spread criticism within the Labour party of the similarities between the perceived three main candidates, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband and David Miliband, who are already through to the next stage of the election - because they are all Oxford-educated men in their 40s, who worked as political advisers before becoming MPs and then cabinet ministers.

Let's see if Diane Abbott pulls it off.

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