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Sir Keir Starmer heads Labour leadership contest with 23 nomination

Aaron Chown/PA Wire

By Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor

Sir Keir Starmer has secured the backing of enough Labour MPs to enter the second stage of the Labour leadership contest.

The shadow Brexit secretary has 23 nominations from the parliamentary party - placing him well ahead of his main rival, Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is on seven so far.

According to figures published by the Labour Party, backbencher Jess Phillips has six backers, while Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has two.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has just one nomination so far, and Clive Lewis has none.

Candidates need nominations from 10% of Labour MPs and MEPs - which totals 212, making the required threshold 22.

Nominations from MPs and MEPs close on Monday January 13.

The figures were revealed as candidates vying to be party's deputy leader set out their stalls to MPs.

Among those in the race for the deputy post, triggered by Tom Watson's decision to quit, are shadow sports minister Rosena Allin-Khan and Labour's only MP in Scotland, Ian Murray.

Shadow cabinet ministers Angela Rayner, Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon, along with shadow Europe minister Khalid Mahmood, are also in the race for the job.