Labour leadership nominations to close

Andy Burnham expected to join Miliband brothers and Ed Balls on the ballot paper.

Nominations for the Labour leadership election will close at 12.30 this afternoon.

David Miliband, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have all secured the requisite support of 33 Labour MPs.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham is currently two votes short, and is widely expected to make it onto the ballot paper.

David Miliband said that he would give his vote to another candidate who was just short, in order to widen the race.

The other two candidates, Diane Abbott and John McDonnell, have 11 and 16 votes respectively.

They are both from the left of the party, and may have split the vote of this section of the party. It has been suggested that one of them may pull out if it would help the other to get sufficient votes.

Supporters of Abbott and McDonnell have pointed out that the three candidates selected are all Oxford-educated men in their 40s, who were political advisors before becoming MPs, then cabinet ministers.

The leader will be voted for by Labour MPs and MEPs, party members, and members of unions and other affiliated organisations. The result will be announced on 25 September, the first day of the party conference.