The image that tells you all you need to know about the Labour leadership candidates

Labour leadership candidates 2020
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CORRECTION: This article was updated at 2.15pm on 23 January to acknowledge that the images used in this article, which were created by the article’s author, were inspired by images seen on Twitter, and to add a link to those images. The author would like to acknowledge and credit Ed Poole who, we are now aware, created similar images before this article was published. You can read more about The Canary‘s policy on attribution and crediting here.

Labour MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry, Lisa Nandy, and Keir Starmer are all hoping to become the next leader of their party. But how strong have their records been in recent years? And how loyal have they been to the party’s efforts under outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn? For the answer to those questions, look no further. Because, inspired by images on Twitter like those from Labour’s Ed Poole, The Canary has created an image that should tell you all you need to know about the leadership candidates.

Compare and contrast

To create the image, we compiled information on:

  • How the MPs voted on the 2015 welfare benefit cap, the renewal of the Trident nuclear programme, and holding Tony Blair to account for misleading parliament over the invasion of Iraq.
  • Who nominated Corbyn for leader in 2015 and who backed him in the 2016 leadership race.
  • Who was a prominent public supporter of Labour’s disastrous second referendum policy on Brexit.
  • Which prominent MPs nominated them in 2020.
Table of leadership candidates' records
Note: Rebecca Long-Bailey = R.L.B., Emily Thornberry = E.T., Lisa Nandy = L.T., and Keir Starmer = K.S.


As their respective voting records show (see R.L.B., E.T., L.N., K.S.), all candidates have backed public ownership of UK railways while voting against cutting corporation tax and welfare benefits. Long-Bailey has the strongest record regarding support for increasing taxes on banks, while both Nandy and Thornberry have voted against several such measures. All candidates, meanwhile, have good climate records, having voted consistently for measures seeking to tackle the climate crisis (although Nandy and Thornberry have a mixed record). They all have mixed records on the controversial process of fracking, having previously voted against increasing regulation of the practice.

What about the deputy leadership candidates?

While we were at it, we also created an image using information about the records of deputy leadership candidates Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Angela Rayner, Rosena Allin-Khan, and Ian Murray.

Table of deputy leadership candidates' records
*Angela Rayner couldn’t vote as she was abroad, so she “paired with a Conservative MP”, but she reportedly spoke out publicly against the bill.


Read on...

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Hopefully, these images will give Labour members and supporters a good idea of what the candidates are all about.

Featured image via Wikimedia – Chris McAndrew (1, 2, 3, 4)

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  • Show Comments
    1. Elections

      Are troublesome
      Do we vote
      With our hearts
      Or our heads?

      This conundrum

      We ken that
      Both fig-leaves
      Are dreadful
      They’ll both
      Be maligned
      Found ‘guilty’
      Of crimes
      We’d never imagined

      So do we vote
      For Blair Mk II
      Or one
      Who’s got
      The incumbent’s

      Why the fuck
      Are we
      Who’ve built these countries
      Brick on brick

      Who’ve built
      This party
      Through so
      Many years

      Left with a choice
      Of two

      When Burgess
      Maguire and
      Hardie, got together
      In Bradford
      To found our Party

      They had no thoughts
      Of Henderson
      MacDonald, Kinnock

      They thought
      Of Chartist principles
      Not those modified
      By Place

      But those
      That gave the vote
      To each and
      Every one of us

      Holding close
      Those whom
      Our employers
      Threw on parish ‘doles’

      In other

      They aimed to
      Build a New World
      Not replicate
      Those old hellish

      ‘Terms and Conditions’

      Which of
      Our ‘candidates’
      Are offering that?

    2. I found that very helpful too, thank you as well Ed.

      Also, thank you caldy1, that is an elegant and interesting prose you posted, I like the style and the way it flows, whilst also posing much food for thought.

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