LABOUR'S Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols will support Rebecca Long-Bailey in her bid to become party leader – despite not nominating her for the top job.

Nominations from MPs and MEPs over the leader and deputy leader posts have been taking place, with nominations from Constituency Labour Parties and affiliates scheduled for next week.

The ballot will open on February 21, with the result to be announced on April 4.

Ms Nichols believes the party’s procedures for selecting a new leader are ‘a bit arcane’ and says MPs should not be ‘keeping people off the ballot paper’ if their preferred candidate has enough nominations.

She added: “I will be supporting Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader. Based on her solid performance at the Parliamentary Labour Party hustings, her vision for Labour’s renewal outlined in Tribune, and my experience of her as a former constituent of hers, I believe she has the most to offer Warrington and the country.

“As she is comfortably through to the next stage of the leadership election process, and fellow north west MP Lisa Nandy has also met the required threshold for nominations, I have leant my nomination to Emily Thornberry to ensure Labour members in Warrington North (and elsewhere) can decide from a full field of candidates representing a broad spectrum of views.

“I think it is vital at such an important point for our party’s future that we have the widest possible debate, and that as MPs we have a duty to facilitate that in a positive way. Whoever the members choose will have my full support.”