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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 May 2007, 04:26 GMT 05:26 UK
Deputy hopefuls battle for votes
The six deputy leadership hopefuls
All six are hoping to become deputy leader of the Labour Party
The six Labour deputy leadership candidates will resume their campaign to win votes in a meeting in Sheffield.

Alan Johnson, Harriet Harman, Hilary Benn, Hazel Blears, Peter Hain and Jon Cruddas are competing for the support of party members, unions and MPs.

They will be joined at the latest hustings by Gordon Brown, who has to attend even though he becomes prime minister on 27 June.

On Saturday, Mr Brown admitted the government had made mistakes over Iraq.

Speaking at a Labour Party hustings meeting in Bristol, the chancellor said the handling of the war had been a divisive issue for the nation.

He said the government and others had fallen short when it came to rebuilding Iraq's economy after the war.

Education debate

Speaking later at the Hay Festival, in mid Wales, he said he took "collective responsibility" for the decision to go to war with Iraq and reiterated that it had "clearly divided the country."

Saturday's hustings with trade unionists also saw debate about proposals by Mr Johnson, the education secretary, for private schools to lend teachers to state schools and share other facilities.

Mr Johnson said independent schools in England and Wales should do more to justify their charitable status.

But fellow Labour candidate Jon Cruddas said private schools should lose their charitable status entirely.

Candidates also demanded an expansion in council house provision after trade minister Margaret Hodge argued British people should be given priority over migrants.

When asked to pick his favourite deputy leadership candidate, Mr Brown said: "They are all good candidates. They are all excellent. It's up to the Labour Party to make that decision."

Vote allocation

Ordinary party members have a third of the vote in next month's election.

Another third go to around three million members of unions and other affiliated bodies and the rest are controlled by the party's MPs and MEPs.

The winner will be announced at a special Labour conference in Manchester on Sunday 24 June.

The candidates are to appear in a live television debate on Newsnight on BBC Two on Tuesday.






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