Labour leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy vows to 'do things differently'

Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy has vowed to "do things differently" compared to current leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Wigan MP officially announced her bid to become leader on Friday in her local newspaper, and will be hoping to lead her party following its worst general election performance since 1935.

With the race not formally starting until Tuesday, she has joined Jess Phillips, Emily Thornberry, Clive Lewis and Sir Keir Starmer to have officially announced their plans to run.

Ms Nandy said it was important for the next Labour leader to connect to parts of the country outside London in order to regain power.

She said: “We need a different sort of leadership that helps to root us back in every community across the UK, turns us back into a real movement and real force, driven from the ground up so that we can win people’s trust back.

“We’ve been wiped out in Scotland virtually, we’ve seen the red wall crumble in the North and Midlands and parts of north Wales.

The Wigan MP officially announced her bid to become leader on Friday in her local newspaper. Credit: PA

“We’ve been told over and over again by people in what were our former Labour heartlands that we need to change, we can’t just keep changing the man at the top and making decisions from Victoria Street in London and think we can fix things for people.”

A former MP’s assistant, charity worker and councillor in London before becoming the Wigan MP, Ms Nandy said: “I was born and brought up in Manchester, went to college over in Bury in Lancashire, I spent time as a London councillor, I worked with homeless teenagers in Soho, spent 10 years living in Wigan.

“This is my community, this is where my family is raised, born and bred and I couldn’t care more about winning back votes.

“This really matters to me, I do have skin in the game, I’m not unlike many of my colleagues like that, but I’ve heard loud and clear what people have been telling us in places like Leigh, Ashfield, Easington where we felt the ground collapse beneath our feet a few weeks ago.

“This has been a long time coming for the Labour Party.”

If elected Labour leader, Ms Nandy said she would like to see power moved from outside London and into local towns and regions whose decisions will impact on that community.

She said: "And what we’ve heard from people for almost 20 years now is that has to change.

“It’s a problem for the Tories, it’s a problem for every political party, but absolutely existential for the Labour Party because we’ve never been movement that’s been about a small group of people coming in saying ‘we will come in and fix things for you’.

“We were a movement founded by and for working people who wanted to effect change in their own lives themselves and we have to become that again.”

Ms Nandy was critical of Labour's free broadband pledge but refused to decline a "clean break" from Corbyn's leadership, saying she was like him "in many ways".

She said Labour had “done some things right in the last four years” with more energy from new people in the party and it was once again a party prepared to “wear its values on its sleeve”.

The new Labour leader is expected to be announced in March after a vote by around half a million party members.