Out MP Ben Bradshaw launches bid for Labour deputy leader

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Labour’s Ben Bradshaw has announced his candidacy for deputy leader of the Labour Party.

There are two vacancies at the top of the Labour party, with leader Ed Miliband resigning after last week’s election defeat, and deputy Harriet Harman also set to step down.

The MP for Exeter confirmed his plans to become the party’s deputy leader today.

The news previously leaked when Mr Bradshaw’s former special adviser Lenny Shallcross purchased the website domains www.ben4deputy.co.uk and www.ben4labour.co.uk – giving away his leadership aspirations.

In a speech to his local party, he said: “Labour did badly everywhere and in Wales and England outside London we went backwards against the Tories.

“Labour must and could win the next election, but only if it broadens its appeal by adopting sensible, centre-left politics which celebrate wealth creation and entrepreneurship as vital means of delivering social justice.

“I know I face an uphill task getting enough nominations from fellow MPs to get on the ballot paper. That would be hard for anyone from a part of Britain with so few Labour colleagues.

“But it’s exactly because I believe it is vital that we listen to and hear the voices of those members, candidates and defeated MPs from areas that are under-represented in parliament and where we must win again that I have decided to have a go.”

He could be one of two openly gay candidates for the role, with Angela Eagle also mulling a leadership bid.

Mr Bradshaw caused a stir at the PinkNews Awards last year – when he heckled Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan.

The Labour MP defended shouting at the Tory minister for voting against same-sex marriage, claiming “she was lucky not to be heckled twice”.

Watch the clip below: