Labour leader rivals asked to film victory speech

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Labour leadership contendersImage source, Getty Images

The three Labour leadership rivals have been asked to pre-record a victory speech for when the contest’s result is announced on Saturday.

Rebecca Long-Bailey said it was a move that was “trying to deal with these strange times” in the coronavirus outbreak.

She told Sky News that it will be “bizarre” to record a speech before knowing the result.

Lisa Nandy and Keir Starmer are also in the running to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour announced that its special conference on 4 April would be cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The winner of the leadership contest was due to be announced at the event.

It is understood party members will hear the result via email and the media.

Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mrs Long-Bailey said the candidates will record the messages so members and the public can view them from home.

“It’s logistically quite challenging and I think we’ve all been asked to do this victory speech, so it can be sent out over the airwaves as quickly as possible after we win,” she said.

“It’s going to be a bit bizarre.”

Labour members have been voting for their new leader since late February and the ballot closes on Thursday.

Mr Corbyn announced he would stand down after more than four years in the job, following the party's poor showing in December's general election, which saw Boris Johnson's Conservatives win a parliamentary majority of 80.

Members have also been voting for a new deputy leader, after Tom Watson stepped down from the role in December.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon, shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler, Scotland's only remaining Labour MP Ian Murray and Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan are in the running.

Ms Rayner is among several MPs who have self-isolated after developing symptoms of coronavirus.

She tweeted on Monday to say that her temperature had “finally come down” and she was hoping to feel better soon.

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