Keir Starmer halts campaigning as his mother-in-law critically ill after accident
23 January 2020, 12:14 | Updated: 23 January 2020, 12:30
Labour leadership hopeful Sir Keir Starmer has cancelled all of his planned campaigning events over the next two days as his mother-in-law fights for life in hospital.
A spokesman for his campaign issued the following statement today: "Following an accident, Keir Starmer’s mother-in-law is critically ill and has been admitted to hospital in intensive care.
"In order to support his family at this difficult time, Keir will be cancelling all campaign events today and tomorrow. We ask that his family’s privacy is respected at this time.”
Before the announcement, he had earlier set out his bid for "another future" for Labour.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, he said: “This is the beginning of the campaign, but I’m honoured to be receiving support from CLPs across the whole of the country.
“From Leave seats to Remain seats, towns to cities, there is hope within our party that another future is possible.”
On Monday Sir Keir became the first candidate to pass the final hurdle to get on to the leadership ballot.
He obtained the backing of the Usdaw union giving him the support required to reach the final stage.
The union's general secretary, Paddy Lillis, said: "The Labour Party must be led by someone who can persuade voters that they have what it takes to be a prime minister and we are a government-in-waiting."
Rebecca Long-Bailey is yet to secure her place on the final ballot, but is expected to do so if she wins union backing over the coming days.
Sir Keir and Lisa Nandy are already through to the final phase.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry looks set to need the support of 33 constituency Labour parties in order to make the ballot.
She insisted she will get onto the ballot, saying "it will be up to the members in the end".