Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner return questionnaires to Durham police | Labour

Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have returned questionnaires to Durham constabulary, giving their account of a gathering throughout final yr’s native election marketing campaign, Labour have confirmed.

The pair have each promised to resign if they’re discovered to have breached Covid guidelines by consuming a curry and ingesting a beer on the occasion, which was caught on digital camera.

Starmer has repeatedly stated he’s satisfied no guidelines had been damaged, however Durham constabulary introduced final month they’d examine, after native MP Richard Holden pressed them to pursue the problem.

Senior celebration officers have begun tentative planning for a management contest ought to the pair need to step down, the Guardian understands. The celebration would then face having no clear interim chief, with its chief and deputy compelled to resign.

John Healey, the shadow defence secretary, is the title most talked about as potential interim chief although some on the ruling nationwide govt committee (NEC) favour it being supplied to Harriet Harman, who carried out the position throughout the 2015 management election. Harman has stated she is going to stand down on the subsequent election.

The celebration’s NEC would choose the caretaker chief whereas a contest passed off, with Healey’s title within the body as a result of many of the senior members of the shadow cupboard are prone to be both candidates or carefully related to a candidate.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up secretary, shadow well being secretary Wes Streeting and the shadow residence secretary Yvette Cooper are all prone to be potential candidates.

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, the favoured candidate of many MPs, wouldn’t be capable of run in a snap management election barring a rule change from the NEC to permit non-MPs to run. One supply near the committee stated there was “absolutely no way” of that change occurring.

Another stated they didn’t assume there can be any benefit in altering the principles and forcing the celebration to then undergo “three more months of hell” because it scrambled to search out Burnham a seat and face a mayoralty byelection.

However, one senior celebration supply recommended the upheaval that might be unleashed by the abrupt departure of Starmer and Rayner would possibly persuade some NEC members to open the way in which for Burnham. “In an unstable situation there could be all sorts of deals done”.

Former Unite chief Len McCluskey lent his help to a Burnham management bid earlier this week.

Some on the centrist bloc of the celebration’s govt – which is now dominant below Starmer – have made tentative plans to aim to steer MPs they need to rally behind simply two candidates, which might then be put to a members vote.

There is not any assure that technique would achieve success. After rule adjustments final yr, MPs would wish to get a minimum of 40 MPs to again them so as to attain the poll paper.

There is not any candidate from the celebration’s left prone to attain the required quantity, amid a break up within the Socialist Campaign Group between veterans of the Corbyn years like John McDonnell and Jon Trickett and youthful extra bold left-wing MPs who fashioned the Love Socialism group, together with Clive Lewis, Alex Sobel and Lloyd Russell-Moyle.

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One outsider candidate who would possibly win some help from the celebration’s left is shadow psychological well being minster Rosena Allin-Khan, who ran for deputy chief in 2020. Allin-Khan was extensively anticipated to be promoted in Starmer’s reshuffle however stayed in her position and attends shadow cupboard in that capability.

The solely different believable candidate is Dawn Butler, who was nearer to the previous Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn, although she is much less prone to win as many votes from the celebration’s comfortable left which she would wish to get on the poll.

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