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Confirmed: Norwich MP WILL stand for Labour leadership

PUBLISHED: 19:05 19 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:25 20 December 2019

MP for Norwich (South) Clive Lewis at the Fridays for Future climate protest on the steps of city hall in Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

MP for Norwich (South) Clive Lewis at the Fridays for Future climate protest on the steps of city hall in Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

Less than a week after hinting he was preparing a leadership challenge, Norwich South MP Clive Lewis has officially thrown his hat into the ring to become the next leader of the Labour Party.

After the party's crushing defeat in the general election last week, Mr Lewis said he would not rule out entering the running to become Jeremy Corbyn's successor, after the defeated leader announced he would be stepping down.

Now, writing a piece for The Guardian, Mr Lewis has announced he indeed will be one of the candidates looking to take the helm for the party going forward.

The Norwich South MP, who is the shadow Treasury minister, said the part had suffered "its own Dunkirk" at the polls, but that a comeback was possible.

He wrote: "I am standing to be leader of the Labour party for the simple reason that if I do not, certain necessary truths may go unspoken during the debates of the coming months.

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"Even at this dark hour, as Labour suffers its own Dunkirk, as retreat is forced on us, I'm an optimistic."

In the column, Mr Lewis wrote that should he be selected he would place more faith in party members to help shape policy and make the party more open, democratic and inquisitive.

He wrote: "Jeremy Corbyn's first promise as leader was never fulfilled. The party was never democratised on the scale or to the extent that members were led to expect - they were never empowered to campaign, select candidates or determine policy on the scale that was required.

"This must now change. We don't need foot soldiers, we need an army of activists who think critically, treat each other with respect and have a serious democratic stake in the movement.

"I don't want to manage the labour movement, I want to unleash it."

Mr Lewis, who has been Norwich South MP since 2015, held on to his seat last week with a 53.7pc share of the vote. However, the election did see his majority cut from 15,596 to 12,760.

Bookmakers currently have him in the top 10 favourites for the post, with Rebecca Long-Bailey, Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy the current front-funners.

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