Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery has urged Sir Keir Starmer to stand aside as a contender in the leadership race so the party can have its first female leader. The intervention from the senior Labour figure came as he introduced the left-wing candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey at a rally in London, where she outlined plans to introduce open selections for all MPs ahead of the next

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If Starmer stands aside whoever becomes leader will be known as a diversity hire for the rest of time. Thatcher, May and Swinson took on all-comers and to become party leader. If you can't do that there will be "what ifs" everytime you do anything.

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