Angela Eagle announces that she will stand to be deputy Labour leader

Angela Eagle declares that she will be running for the deputy Labour leadership.

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Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey, is running for the deputy leadership of the Labour party.

An MP since 1992, Eagle has held a number of positions in both the last Labour government and in opposition. Most notably, she served as Pensions Minister under Gordon Brown, and has been shadow leader of the House of Commons (a position she still holds) since 2012.

Eagle is a popular MP locally (she managed to double her majority to over 16,000 this election), and one of Labour's quietly influential figures. She used to head up the National Executive Committee, and is currently chair of the party's National Policy Forum. An experienced candidate, Eagle has been in politics longer than the other potential deputy leadership contenders, and did well under Brown.

Her pitch centres on the idea of unity, both of the country and the party, and a robust debate about Labour's future.

She appears alongside a number of Labour activists holding up placards giving their reason for backing her for the post ("I'm ready for Angela because..."). One refers to David Cameron's infamous instruction to Eagle in the Commons to "calm down dear".

She says:

We are at a critical time and I care about the road we take. It is vital that the leadership team unites the party and takes us forward.  

The General Election result was bad, it is now time to debate, take stock, and then pick ourselves up to become the formidable team we can be to win in 2020.  I am ready to contribute to that effort.

Her view on Labour's economic challenge is:

Labour must be the answer to a prosperous and successful economy in a twenty first century world where past success is no guarantee of future fortune. This means the whole country being rich with opportunity north and south, east and west.

We have to challenge current economic orthodoxies and trickle-down economics head on. We must never be against wealth creation but we can be against tax evasion and we can insist on fair rules for those at the top as well as those at the bottom of the income scale. Labour must also be at the forefront of building a new economic settlement rooted in rewarding innovation and skills. This new economy needs to be based on developing
opportunities for all our people.

Here's her campaign launch film:

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.