Angela Rayner to run to be deputy Labour leader as she backs Becky Long-Bailey for top job
Angela Rayner is to join the race to be Labour's new deputy leader after agreeing to back Becky Long-Bailey's bid to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.
The Shadow Education Secretary is expected to officially announce the plan at the end of this week.
Ms Rayner had been tipped to mount a bid for the Labour leadership, but has agreed to stand aside to help Ms Long-Bailey, her close friend and flatmate, secure the role.
The deputy leader post has been vacant since before the general election, when Tom Watson announced he was quitting Parliament.
Jeremy Corbyn announced that he was standing down as leader in the wake of Labour's crushing defeat, when the party won just 202 seats - its worst election performance in more than 80 years.
He will stay on in the post until the end of March, while the deputy and leader contests take place.
A source close to Ms Rayner said: "She’s exploring a deputy leadership bid but won’t be any announcement either way until later this week."
Others who are pondering bids to succeed Mr Watson are thought to include Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon and Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner.
Meanwhile, Lisa Nandy has confitmed that she is considering a run to be leader, alongwith Jess Phillips, Sir Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry.