Today’s hustings is the stage at which the contest begins in earnest and it is expected to be followed with a series of events across the country before the next leader of the Labour party is duly elected on April 04, Presstv Reported.
The five candidates aspiring to the leadership are: Rebecca Long-Bailey (shadow business secretary), Emily Thornberry (shadow foreign secretary), Keir Starmer (business secretary), Lisa Nandy (MP for Wigan) and Jess Phillips (MP for Birmingham Yardley).
Hitherto, the leadership contest has revolved around how much political and ideological distance the candidates can put between themselves and outgoing leader Corbyn.
Rebecca Long-Bailey and Emily Thornberry are widely viewed as Corbyn loyalists, whereas Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips were outspoken critics of the outgoing leader.
Keir Starmer, who is a former head of the Crown Prosecution Service, has tried to stake out a more centrist position by appealing to both wings of the Labour party.
Who are the favourites?
Long-Bailey and Starmer are widely considered to be the strongest candidates with the latest opinion poll placing the former in first place.
A Survation poll of LabourList members finds that 42 percent of the party’s membership would give Long-Bailey their first preference vote, compared to Starmer’s 37 percent.
The contest is also expected to focus on the reasons and factors that led to Labour’s historic defeat in last month’s general election.
What's happening today?
At today’s hustings (which is currently underway) the focus has been on anti-Semitism and the Labour party’s response to it.
Corbyn opponents sought to exploit the issue to undermine his leadership in the run up to last month’s general election.
Long-Bailey has tried to fight parochialism – and by extension to break the exclusive focus on anti-Semitism - by introducing an initiative to fight Islamophobia, both within the Labour party and in the wider political community.