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7 January 2020

Conor McGinn out of Labour deputy race

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

By Patrick Maguire

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.

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