Jeremy Corbyn to stay on as Labour leader until the end of March following election defeat
Jeremy Corbyn will stay on as Labour leader until the end of March, it has emerged.
Jennie Formby, the party's general secretary, revealed the timetable for electing Mr Corbyn's replacement in an email to Labour staff.
Mr Corbyn announced he was standing down as Labour leader in the wake of the party's disastrous performance in the general election - but said he would stay in post while the party "reflects" on what went wrong.
However, he has faced calls to quit immediately from critics who hold him responsible for the election result.
In her email, Ms Formby said Mr Corbyn "has asked that the NEC (National Executive Committee) start the process swiftly so a new leader may be elected by the end of March".
She said NEC officers will meet on Monday to discuss the timetable for the leadership race, with a full meeting of Labour's ruling body being held on 6 January.
Ms Formby said she expected the leadership contest to formally begin the following day.
The timetable means that Mr Corbyn will be in place to respond to this Thursday's Queen's Speech, and the Budget due in February.
Among those expected to enter the leadership race are Lisa Nandy, Sir Keir Starer, Jess Phillips, Emily Thornberry and Becky Long-Bailey - who has already received the backing of Chancellor John McDonnell and Justice Secretary Richard Burgon.
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Ms Nandy said she was "seriously thinking about " running.
The Wigan MP said: "The reason that I'm thinking about is because we've just had the most shattering defeat where you really felt in towns like mine that the earth was quaking and we've watched the entire Labour base just crumble beneath our feet."
She added: "I think we need to think seriously now about first of all how you bring those lifelong Labour voters who felt that not only couldn't vote Labour but actually in many instances chose the Tories, how you bring Labour how to them.
"And I also think we have to think seriously about how we rebuild that coalition that has propelled us into power three times in the last 100 years - the Lewishams and the Lees - and how you speak for both."