Angela Eagle to announce bid for Labour leadership on Monday
Out MP Angela Eagle has said she will announce her bid for the Labour leadership on Monday.
The former shadow business secretary accused Jeremy Corbyn of failing “to lead an organised and effective” Labour party.
Mr Corbyn has said he will fight for the leadership.
Ms Eagle, a left-winger who was instrumental to Corbyn’s leadership until last week, had allegedly agreed a deal with Labour deputy leader Tom Watson following Mr Corbyn’s crushing defeat among MPs this afternoon.
If victorious, she would be the UK Labour Party’s first openly gay leader – though Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale came out last year.
Just last month, Ms Eagle told PinkNews that she would happily stand as leader of the party.
She hinted to PinkNews at the time: “I have to step very carefully here because we have a leader already… But, I enjoyed doing PMQs, let’s put it that way. I don’t think I did too badly.”
As she joined the majority of her colleagues in resigning from the shadow cabinet this week, she told the Mr Corbyn that the party needed a leader “who can unite, not divide”.
Rumours of Ms Eagle replacing Mr Corbyn first circulated in April, after frontbenchers and donors said that they see her as a viable replacement for Mr Corbyn, claiming she could unite the party in the event of a Labour civil war
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The MP for Wallasey has enjoyed strong performances in the House of Commons since her appointment to the Shadow Cabinet last year, boosting the morale of Labour MPs.
Ms Eagle also performed well when she became the first LGBT MP to front Prime Minister’s Questions for her party.
The leader’s office had insisted the non-binding vote would have no impact on his leadership as he has a mandate from Labour members, but rebels have intensified calls for him to resign.
The shake up comes amid accusations that Mr Corbyn’s attempts to persuade his supporters to ‘Remain’ in the European Union was ‘lacklustre’.
At time of publication, more than 50 MPs have resigned from the front bench – including 20 of Mr Corbyn’s 31 shadow cabinet members, and many of the party’s most prominent figures.