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Politics: First ever female Labour leader looking likely to replace Jeremy Corbyn

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It’s looking increasingly likely that the Labour Party will elect its first permanent female leader in history when the time comes to replace Jeremy Corbyn in early 2020.

Corbyn announced he will not lead Labour into the next General Election after the party suffered its worst election result since 1935 last week.

And the two leading candidates to replace him are both female.

Rebecca Long-Bailey is the odds-on favourite at 10/11, with Lisa Nandy 3/1.

Long-Bailey is currently Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and has been the MP for Salford & Eccles since 2015.

She was one of 36 Labour MP’s to nominate Corbyn as a candidate in the 2015 Labour leadership election, and has retained close ties with the charismatic leader and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, since.

Nandy, meanwhile, has been Wigan’s MP since 2010, and was formerly the Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Energy before stepping down in 2016 after becoming disillusioned with Corbyn’s leadership and handling of the EU referendum.

Having supported Owen Smith over Corbyn during the last Labour leadership election campaign, Nandy compared the abuse she consequently received to that of the far-right.

“There have been moments this summer where I have felt genuinely frightened,” she said at a fringe event at a Labour conference organised by the Huffington Post UK in 2016.

“I’ve only felt that once in politics and that was when I was first elected and I was targeted by the far right.”

It appears, then, Labour are faced with a choice of hard-left evolution or soft-left revolution.

Either way, though, a northern female leader looks likely to be elected in order to try to reclaim lost voters in the north and reassert the party as a modern, forward-thinking one.

Of the current outsiders, Keir Starmer is 7/1, with Jess Phillips 14/1, Yvette Cooper 22/1, and Clive Lewis 25/1.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter.

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