Sat, 20 July 2024

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By Ben Guerin
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Emily Thornberry pledges to quit as Labour leader if polls show she can’t win general election

2 min read

Emily Thornberry has promised to quit as Labour leader if the polls shows she could not win an election.

In a thinly-veiled swipe at Jeremy Corbyn, the man she wants to replace, the Shadow Foreign Secretary said if she “can’t get us back into power” then she “will be loyal to the party I love”.

In an article for the Mirror, Ms Thornberry added: “So I will stand down and give one of my brilliant colleagues the chance to win instead.”

The Labour frontbencher, one of the leading candidates for the top job, likened the situation to that of New Zealand in 2017.

That country’s Labour party leader, Andrew Little, resigned “enabling his successor, the wonderful Jacinda Ardern, to sweep to power two months later”.

Ms Thornberry, who along with Clive Lewis is one of two candidates to have formally declared they are standing, said that, whoever takes over from Mr Corbyn, “what matters most is that we need someone who can win”.

She added: "We need someone with confidence and forensic skill at the Despatch Box, who can blow past Boris Johnson's bluster and expose him for the feckless, lying charlatan that he is.

"And we need someone with the conviction to speak their mind, but the courage to admit when they've made mistakes and take responsibility for them.

"But above all of those qualities, what matters most is that we need someone who can win."

Ms Thornberry added: "Politics is not a kids' football game. It's not the taking part that counts.

"We urgently need to win back the trust of the public and put Labour back into power. People's lives and jobs depend on it."

Her article comes after long-standing Tottenham MP David Lammy gave the clearest indication yet he may also run to be leader.

And shadow minister Rosena Allin-Khan confirmed to the Sunday Times she was considering entering the race for deputy leader.

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