John for leader

Labour activists are urging a speedy response to the NEC's deadline

As you may have heard, John McDonnell has announced his intention to stand for leader. In order to stand, candidates need to be nominated by 32 MPs. However, we only have until May 27 to get the number required. If you want a genuine leadership debate with a broad range of candidates, please support the letter which will be published in The Guardian on Monday.

Please email me your name, your CLP and/or trade union (if applicable), and any relevant positions as soon as you read the letter if you are in support.

Please also get in touch with your local Labour MP or any Labour MP you think is sympathetic and ask them to nominate John to allow a debate, however they then decide to vote. Nearly every MP has a generic email (surnameinitial@parliament.uk: eg Gordon Brown would be ‘browng@parliament.uk’).

As a range of Labour Party members, councillors, NEC members, trade unionists, activists, community workers and campaigners, we are asking Labour MPs to nominate John McDonnell in order to allow a genuine debate about the future direction of our party. We are concerned that a contest between candidates with broadly the same views will fail to deliver the wide-ranging policy debate Labour urgently needs following our defeat at the polls.

We welcome John McDonnell’s commitment to a leadership debate based on the policies, not the personalities. We note John McDonnell’s long-standing support for workers’ rights, a peaceful foreign policy, publicly owned services, progressive taxation, an emergency council housing programme, a living wage and civil liberties. We also welcome his determination that working people must not be made to pay for a crisis that is not of their making, and his opposition to the Con-Dem cuts agenda that will devastate our communities. We want these policies to be given a platform in the leadership campaign.

That is why we ask MPs to nominate John McDonnell, regardless of how they will subsequently vote, in order to allow an inspirational, comradely debate about the future direction of our party and our country.