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In order to qualify to take part, candidates need the support of at least 21 MPs, as well as the backing of 5 per cent of constituency parties or three affiliated bodies – two of which must be trade unions…reports Asian Lite News

Lisa Nandy, the Indian-origin British MP by .
Lisa Nandy, the Indian-origin British MP

The UK’s main opposition Labour’s ruling body is slated to meet on Monday to agree the timetable for the party’s leadership race and the rules for the forthcoming contest.

Labour’s National Executive Committee, the party’s governing body, will meet to determine how the contest will be conducted, the day before Parliament returns from its Christmas recess, reports the BBC.

In order to qualify to take part, candidates need the support of at least 21 MPs, as well as the backing of 5 per cent of constituency parties or three affiliated bodies – two of which must be trade unions.

The five official contenders that have entered the race are Indian-origin Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, Birmingham MP Jess Phillips, Shadow First Secretary of State Emily Thornberry, Shadow Minister for Sustainable Economics Clive Lewis and Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Keir Starmer.

During Monday’s meeting, one of the key issues to be decided is the “cut-off” period for people who are not currently full members of the party and who want to vote.

Under the current rules, anyone in this position would have at least two weeks to sign up – but this deadline could be extended.

If this happens, it was likely to favour candidates such as Phillips and Nandy, who are looking to win back former supporters of the party disillusioned about its direction under Corbyn, the BBC said.

LONDON, June 8, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Leader of Britain's main opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn (Front C) walks to the polling station in London, Britain on June 8, 2017. (Xinhua/Richard Washbrooke/IANS) (lrz) by .
Leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn (Front C) walks to the polling station in London, Britain (Xinhua/Richard Washbrooke/IANS) (lrz)

The NEC will also decide the rules around the participation of registered supporters.

More than 500,000 people took part in the last leadership contest, when Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected in 2016.

Corbyn signalled his intention to stand down after Labour lost its fourth general election in a row and his second as leader following the December 12 polls.

His successor is expected to be in place before council and mayoral elections at the start of May.

Labour will also set the rules for its deputy leadership election, after Tom Watson stood down in December.

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