As Rebecca Long Bailey launched her bid for the party leadership position she was given an immediate boost as despite gaining a lot of support in recent days - Ian Lavery has now declared that he will NOT be standing in the leadership contest - instead choosing to throw his full support behind the left wing favourite in doing so giving her a free run at the top job.
As it stands the big battle looks to be between Rebecca Long Bailey vs Keir Starmer who has a clear leader over the Salford MP according to a recent YouGov poll.
Ian told of his decision via a brief statement on Twitter, saying:
"Over the last couple of weeks, it has been humbling to receive so much support from members and colleagues who have encouraged me to stand for leader of the Labour party.
"While I am honoured, I will not be standing in the leadership contest.
"Ahead of the election, I made clear my concerns with our position on Brexit and what if could mean for our support in areas that voted to Leave. whilst this was not the only issue at play, I am sad to have seen these predictions born out by the result.
"Our party needs a leader who can not only represent our 'heartlands', as well as winning over new supporters, but to listen to the people who live in them too. We must ensure that we never again are seen to take working class communities for granted or to write them off as ignorant or ill educated. Our country and indeed the world faces huge challenges and these call for bold solutions. We must redouble our efforts to find them and win the trust to deliver them.
"With this in mind I will be throwing my full support behind Rebecca Long Bailey as the best person to lead our party. Having worked with her in the shadow cabinet I know she has the intellect, drive and determination to take forward and develop the popular, common sense socialist policies that Jeremy Corbyn has championed. And after more than a century its about time the Labour Party was led by a woman."
However some were quick to point the finger of ridicule at his comments regarding listening to the voters and not taking them for granted, citing the fact that his chosen candidate had failed to back Brexit despite the majority of her own constituents in Salford expressing a wish to leave the EU, one of the largest underlying reasons as to the epic backlash Labour saw up and down the country which led to huge loses and a Tory government reinstalled into power with a huge majority.
Many MP's lost their seats because of the parties lack of a coherent position on Brexit.
Lavery's statement was met with mixed reaction but was mostly of disappointment that he will not be standing.
Rebecca has now confirmed that she will be standing in the leadership race claiming that Labour needs a socialist leader.
Edited by KARL