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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Journalists to chair Labour’s leadership hustings

The Labour Party has today confirmed the list of senior journalists who will chair leadership hustings to be held around the country as the Party opens up the contest to the public. BBC Two’s Newsnight kicked off the series last night with a televised hour long debate live from Nuneaton, and chaired by Laura Kuenssberg.

The leadership hopefuls will take part in hustings in all regions and nations over the forthcoming months. All debates will be held in constituencies the Party had hoped to win at the election, including Stevenage, Swindon, Brighton, Cardiff and Glasgow. Labour’s regional hustings will be held in front of a public audience and will be chaired by:
  • Anushka Asthana, Sky News
  • David Clegg, Daily Record
  • Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian
  • Isabel Hardman, The Spectator
  • Gaby Hinsliff, Political Editor, Grazia
  • Chris Lloyd, Northern Echo
  • Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
  • Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times
  • Jim Waterson, Buzzfeed UK
  • Paul Waugh, HuffingtonPost UK

Live television and radio hustings will be chaired by:
  • Adam Boulton, Sky News
  • Nicky Campbell, BBC Radio 5 Live
  • Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Victoria Derbyshire show
  • Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Channel 4 News
  • Laura Kuenssberg, BBC Newsnight
  • Andrew Neil, BBC Sunday Politics

Commenting on the announcement, Labour leader, Harriet Harman said: "This will be the first time that Labour - or any political party - has opened up the decision on who should be leader to the public. To make sure we get the right leader, the best leader, we must let the public in. So instead of a meeting of just Labour members, people who didn’t vote Labour will be invited to attend. And instead of a closed meeting, this will be a televised debate. Instead of the hustings being chaired by Labour supporters, we will have a robust independent chair - starting with Laura Kuenssberg."

Ms Harman continued: "These broadcasts of our leadership hustings are the start of us reaching out to the public after our election defeat. So the first hustings will be in an area of the country where we hoped to win but that rejected labour at the election - Nuneaton. No more asking ourselves who we like, but also asking the country who they like."

"And people watching the hustings on TV - who are Labour supporters - will be able to register their support, pay £3 and vote for their choice of candidate. This will mean that Labour’s leader has been voted on not just by Labour members but is open to all those who support Labour - the biggest vote for any party’s Leader." Harriet Harman added.

New rules introduced under Ed Miliband mean the Labour Party will elect their new leader through a one voice one vote system, and allowing supporters to sign up and vote.