Rosena Allin-Khan: Labour MP and doctor who says 'party rescued her from child poverty' announces deputy leadership bid
Tooting MP - praised for a Love Actually parody campaign video - joins crowded race already featuring three shadow cabinet members
A Labour MP who says the party rescued her from a childhood in poverty to launch a career as a doctor has announced her bid to be its new deputy leader.
Now Ms Allin-Khan has become the latest candidate in a crowded race already featuring shadow cabinet members Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler, plus Khalid Mahmood and, reportedly, Ian Murray.
In an article for The Independent, she referenced her job as an A&E doctor to describe Labour as “on life-support”, writing: “This is no accident, but the result of a chronic failure to address symptoms that were visible for all to see.”
She accused the party, under Jeremy Corbyn, of having “ignored the warning signs in Scotland”, adding: “Now we’ve paid the price in Northern England, across the Midlands and in Wales.”
The MP for Tooting, in South London, said: “As a doctor, I cannot guess or assume what is wrong with a patient – I have to listen to their symptoms and investigate the root causes – this is what we must do as a party, and is what I will do as deputy leader.”
Describing her upbringing, Ms Allin-Khan said: “I owe my life and where I am today to the Labour Party.
“The last Labour government provided the opportunity to study medicine to a young woman who was told she would never amount to anything.”
She spoke of a “loving single mother who worked three jobs to raise me and my younger brother”, adding: “We grew up poor, and often cold, but my mother always told me to stay hopeful for change.”
Ms Rayner, the shadow education secretary, is the favourite to be elected deputy – in an announcement on 4 April – and has warned Labour faces the “biggest challenge in our history”.
Once tipped as a possible leader herself, she instead threw her weight behind Rebecca Long Bailey for the top job as she confirmed her plans to stand for deputy instead.
Earlier, Labour’s ruling national executive committee, announced that Mr Corbyn would remain in post for a further three months, despite its election disaster.
And it sparked controversy by deciding that candidates will not be given access to membership lists until after the nomination process is completed on 14 February.
It has its own big list of sympathisers dating back to Mr Corbyn's initial election in 2015, who make up a sizeable portion of the party's total membership.