Leadership hustings cancelled as Starmer suspends campaign

Sienna Rodgers

The official Labour Party hustings scheduled to take place on Saturday has been cancelled after candidate Keir Starmer suspended campaigning to support a critically ill family member.

The frontrunner revealed on Thursday that he would call off campaign events, as a spokesperson for Keir Starmer said: “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.”

Following the news, a spokesperson for Keir Starmer today said: “Further to yesterday’s statement, Keir will be cancelling all campaign events this weekend. We ask that his family’s privacy is respected at this time.”

It has now been “unanimously” agreed by the procedures committee, according to an email from general secretary Jennie Formby, that the hustings will be cancelled “to ensure fairness to all candidates”.

The email read: “I am sure you will understand and support this decision and we look forward to seeing you all at the remaining 11 hustings.

“We have sent our very best wishes and solidarity to Keir and his family, and our hope that his mother-in-law recovers very soon.”

Labour’s deputy leadership hustings will still go ahead as planned on Saturday in Leeds, as will the unofficial hustings organised by soft left group Open Labour in Nottingham on Sunday.

Open Labour said: “We have been in contact with Keir’s team and they are ok for us to press ahead. They are however going to supply us with a video and a statement and we will make sure that this is impressed upon delegates.”

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