South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck calls for end to Labour Party 'infighting' ahead of leadership campaign
Jeremy Corbyn is stepping down after the party’s disastrous showing in December’s General Election.
Labour lost 59 seats in a drubbing which saw the party’s vote collapse in traditonal heartlands across Northern England and Wales.
Emma Lewell-Buck held on to her seat, but saw her share of the vote slashed from 61.5% in 2017 to 45.6% last month.
Now she has issued a statement calling for an end to infighting within the party as it gears up for a leadership battle.
Those who have announced their intention to run include Jess Phillips, Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis.
Mrs Lewell-Buck said she had not yet decided who would have her support, but called for the party to conduct the contest in a civilised fashion.
She said on Twitter: “Genuinely undecided about Labour leadership, but so far some of the vitriol directed at leader/deputy candidates and those considering it has been utterly grim.
“Whatever you think of them, they are doing it because they care about our movement, values and future electability enough to put their heads above the parapet at a time when our party is at its lowest ebb.
“If you agree or disagree with them, please try and keep it civil. It is early days, we have until March.”
She also warned about the impact a dirty campaign could have on the Labour Party’s impression among the electorate.
Her statement added: “Three months of ugly infighting doesn’t pave the way to future General Election victory or imminent local election victory, nor does it keep the focus on holding the Government to account.
“The Government will gain ground, as all do, quickly in their first few months, setting the narrative for this Parliament.
“We can’t repeat past mistakes and let them do this whilst we are consumed yet again with speaking to ourselves.
“So let’s be good to each other and unite around our core values. After all, we want the same thing.”