Conor McGinn out of Labour deputy race

The Corbynsceptic former whip’s withdrawal narrows reflects a much diminished PLP and Angela Rayner’s strength.

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Conor McGinn, the St Helens North MP, will not run to replace Tom Watson as Labour’s deputy leader, the New Statesman understands.

The former whip – a Corbynsceptic organiser aligned with Labour’s old right – was the first contender to emerge in the wake of Watson’s resignation in November.

But with MP nominations due to close on 13 January, he has decided against a run. Most of McGinn’s would-be nominators lost their seats to the Conservatives last month. He also has a young family on Merseyside.

His withdrawal also reflects the strength of another contender: Angela Rayner. In a crowded field, she has overwhelming cross-factional support in among MPs, most of whom have concluded that she will win the race at a canter.

Notwithstanding John McDonnell’s endorsement of Richard Burgon, the expectation is that the rest of the field – be they left or right – will struggle.

Patrick Maguire was political correspondent at the New Statesman.

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