EXCL Former Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton in Deputy Speaker bid
A former Labour chief whip who was sacked by Jeremy Corbyn has launched a campaign to become Deputy Speaker, PoliticsHome can reveal.
Rosie Winterton has written to Labour MPs calling on them to back her bid to succeed "our good colleague" Natascha Engel, who lost her seat to the Tories in last week's election.
She said: "I know you will be receiving a number of emails about the various vacant positions at this time and I will be in touch again shortly, but if there is anything you would like to talk through with about this please do give me a ring."
John Bercow is expected to be elected for another five-year term as Commons Speaker this afternoon, with Labour's Lindsay Hoyle likely to continue as his number two.
Labour sources believe the popular Ms Winterton will be elected to the post of Deputy Speaker unopposed.
It would mark a major turnaround in fortunes for the Doncaster Central MP, who was ditched by Mr Corbyn last October.
The Labour leader said: "I would like to pay tribute to Rosie Winterton for her six years’ exceptional service as chief whip. She has played an outstanding role in her support for me as leader and for the Labour party as a whole."
She said: "It has been an honour to have served as Labour’s chief whip for the past six years under three different leaders. I would like to thank the whips and the Parliamentary Labour Party for the support they have given me."
But PoliticsHome revealed that Ms Winterton was actually sacked when she turned up at a meeting to discuss the possible return of Shadow Cabinet elections.
A Labour source said: "The whips are apoplectic. It's a complete betrayal of their work and of Rosie. Corbyn has effectively sacked the PLP's negotiator. She went up there to meet him for a scheduled meeting about Shadow Cabinet elections and he sacked her.
"It just shows that all the talk about unity was a sham."