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Published: Tue, July 12, 2016
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Angela Eagle says she can unite the Labour party


ANGELA Eagle has launched her bid to topple Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader - winning the early backing from an ex-Worcestershire parliamentary candidate.

Angela Eagle has challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the UK's opposition Labour Party, adding to the turmoil in British politics unleashed by June's vote to leave the EU.

His rival Angela Eagle, a former shadow business secretary, accuses Corbyn of playing to his left-wing gallery rather than seeking wider support.

The pivotal issue of whether Jeremy Corbyn will automatically be on the ballot paper for Labour's leadership showdown, or will need to seek nominations from MPs, will be decided by the party's governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC).

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, Britain's biggest trade union and Labour's biggest financial backer, warned Saturday that "any attempts to keep Jeremy Corbyn, elected just 10 months ago with an enormous mandate, off the ballot paper by legal means risks a lasting division in the party".

Corbyn, who is accused of lukewarm campaigning for Britain to stay in the European Union, has said he would not "betray" the party members who elected him previous year by standing down.

On Sunday Eagle said that Corbyn should not get a place on the ballot without the support of MPs.

The party's general secretary later confirmed the leadership contest had officially been triggered and said the timetable would be set out after a meeting of Labour's national executive committee.

"I am not a Blairite, I am not a Brownite and I am not a Corbynista, I am my own woman".

The incident follows repeated complaints by Labour MPs - particularly women - that they have been subjected to threats and abuse from Corbyn's supporters if they speak out against the party leader.

But the busy agenda was overshadowed with only one topic on everyone's lips - the Labour Party leadership battle.

Eagle's challenge came minutes before Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom withdrew from the race to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron, paving the way for the only remaining candidate, Theresa May, to lead the country as it negotiates a Brexit.

"I will challenge that if that is the view they take", he said.

He said: 'We've just had 360 entryists join the Labour Party in Wallasey.

"This isn't about splitting the Labour Party, it is about creating a strong, united party".

"I am a person who brings people together, I don't drive them apart - I will unite, I will not divide", she said.

"I've tried to find a way forward for the party between two apparently irreconcilable decisions".

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