Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 15:42 UK

Labour extends leadership race deadline

Diane Abbott, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, John McDonnell, David Miliband, Ed Miliband
Six Labour MPs have said they want to run for the leadership

The Labour Party has extended its deadline for leadership nominations, amid concerns the timescale set previously was too tight.

Contenders now have until 9 June, rather than 27 May, to gain the required backing of 33 MPs.

The result of the contest is set to be announced on 25 September.

Those who have announced they are standing so far are Diane Abbott, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, John McDonnell and David and Ed Miliband.

Gordon Brown resigned as Labour leader last week, with deputy Harriet Harman standing in until his permanent replacement is chosen.

Mr McDonnell, Ms Abbott and Ed Miliband have all called for the deadline for nominations to be extended, arguing that this will give all contenders a fair chance of securing enough support to go to a vote by the wider party membership.

The ballot will take between 16 August and 22 September, with the result being announced on the first day of the party's conference in Manchester.

Hustings will take place in June and July, with some backbench MPs pressing for the candidates to square up in a TV debate.

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