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Keir Starmer facing hard-Left leadership challenge from Corbyn ally Dawn Butler

Labour MP Dawn Butler – PA

Dawn Butler, a outstanding Jeremy Corbyn ally, denied on Saturday she was planning to problem Sir Keir Starmer for the Labour management, amid claims of a really hard-Still left plot to switch the Labour chief right after the Batley and Spen by-election.

Ms Butler, who was a frontbencher beneath Mr Corbyn, was viewed in the West Yorkshire constituency with a digicam crew very last 7 days, main to speculation that she was putting alongside one another material for a management bid.

Labour sources believe the MP is banking on the get together losing the seat on Thursday for the first time due to the fact 1997, prior to saying a bid to exchange Sir Keir the pursuing day.

It is considered that Ms Butler would gain the aid of the 34-potent Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, which include Mr Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott.

In a assertion issued to The Telegraph, Ms Butler mentioned: “Like many MPs, I travelled up to Batley this 7 days to aid Kim Leadbeater and do the job for a Labour gain.

“I hardly ever have been, and by no means will be, section of a coup versus a Labour leader and have no interest in standing against Keir. Labour wants to boost – and that was apparent from some of the doorstep conversations – but that is up to the latest leadership to set suitable.”

If the Conservatives attain Batley and Spen from Labour, successfully knocking out another brick in Labour’s Crimson Wall, Sir Keir will encounter renewed calls to stop. Ms Butler’s statement did not rule out launching a leadership bid if Sir Keir stands down, triggering a formal contest.

A supply reported that the digicam crew was from Byline Television, whose internet site lists Ms Butler as a “contributor”. The crew “travelled up fully independently”, the resource stated.

Subsequent her stop by to the constituency on Thursday, Ms Butler, who introduced an unsuccessful bid to become deputy Labour leader very last yr, tweeted: “Speaking to the wonderful individuals in Batley and Spen I read the disappointment in the direction of our nation.

“I know Labour can do improved, and can have much better procedures and instructions.” She said Kim Leadbeater, the Labour candidate “has the tips that will enable direct the get together.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, a really hard-left MP and a buddy of Ms Butler who joined her in Batley and Spen, claimed that residents spoke of “disappointment” with Sir Keir.

He reported: “There was no anger towards Kim notably, there was no anger towards Labour. It was disappointment, and often disappointment with Keir.

“I have knocked for a very long time on doors. I have knocked when Tony Blair was chief. And men and women complained about Tony Blair, I’ve knocked on doors when Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband ended up leaders and they complained about it. And exact same with Jeremy, so you have to get a little bit of a pinch of salt.

“But this time, what was distinctive is: it was not anger. It was just disappointment, feeling let down real, a emotion that Keir had permit them down.

“And they were being saying search, we will vote for you subsequent time, but this time, he demands to know that he is abandoned us.”

To formally initiate a management obstacle, a would-be contender would need to have to be nominated by at least 20 per cent of Labour MPs, which would mean requiring 40 signatures – six much more than the latest membership of the Socialist Marketing campaign Team.

If Sir Keir resigned, the go would routinely trigger a contest and MPs would only have to have nominations from 10 for each cent – 20 – of their colleagues to stand.

Through Ms Butler’s bid for the deputy leadership final 12 months she billed herself as “the only prospect who has been in authorities”, stating: “Let me just take us there again.” The 51-calendar year-outdated MP for Brent Central, in north west London, served as a minister in the Cabinet Office in the course of Gordon Brown’s premiership.

She generated controversy last yr for praising Extinction Rebellion for ‘excellent work’ immediately after they blocked the printworks of several of Britain’s big newspapers. In 2018, as section of a speech at Labour’s conference in Liverpool, she spoke approvingly of the Militant-dominated council which ran the metropolis in the 1980s.

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