15:19 GMT26 November 2020
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    The Labour leadership contest is in full swing with candidates vying to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. Jess Phillips, who has long been a critic of Corbyn's leadership has seen her campaign fail to secure the support of unions and party affiliates.

    Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips ended her bid for the position of Labour leader on Tuesday.

    "I truly believe that unless we speak to the country on their terms, not just ours that we won't be able to make the gains that we need to win an election," she said. 

    She called for the selection of a candidate that can "unite our movement."

    She added a message to the Jewish community, saying that: " I will always stand up. I always always speak out against the problems in our party that we have seen."

    ​While successfully securing the 22 nominations from Labour MPs and MEP's to get onto the ballot, she was unable to maintain the union and affiliate support in the race to replace current leader Jeremy Corbyn.

    She described her own performance at the Labour leader public hustings debate last Saturday as "awful" and admitted that she was too focused on projecting a prime ministerial image.

    The GMB trade union held its own hustings on Tuesday morning, which the other five leadership contestants attended, but Phillips did not. 

    Phillip's was already lagging in the polls behind the two frontrunners; Sir Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey, but still apparently maintained a solid lead over fellow backbench rival Lisa Nandy and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry.

    Philips dropping out means that there are currently four candidates remaining in the Labour leadership contest - Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry and Lisa Nandy.

    The current the favourite to win the top job, according to YouGov polling, is Starmer, despite Long-Bailey being largely seen by as the continuity Corbyn candidate.

    The Labour Party has developed a widespread base of activists who have been strong supporters of the Corbyn project since 2015 and candidates will need to appeal to it in order to be successful.

    Jess Phillips earned herself the scorn of much of the left-wing of the party for her repeated attacks against Mr Corbyn, proudly saying that she would "knife him in the front" if he were to harm the Labour party in 2015.

    The Labour leadership election was triggered by Corbyn's announcement that he would not be leading the party into any future general elections after the party suffered its worst election defeat since 1935 on December 12.

    Tags:
    General Election, Rebecca Long Bailey, Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, Labour leader, Labour party
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