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Clive Lewis claims racism might be reason he is struggling for Labour leadership support

PUBLISHED: 16:14 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:14 10 January 2020

MP Clive Lewis believes his race could be an issue in why he has not yet got the required backing in the Labour leadership race.
Picture: Nick Butcher

MP Clive Lewis believes his race could be an issue in why he has not yet got the required backing in the Labour leadership race. Picture: Nick Butcher

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Clive Lewis has claimed “structural racism” could be the reason he is yet to gain the required backing from fellow MPs to stay in the Labour leadership race.

The Norwich South MP said he thought his race could be why he has so far only got four nominations in the battle to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour's leader.

The shadow Treasury minister needs 22 votes by Monday to ensure he goes forward to the next stage of the contest.

Speaking at a campaign event in Brixton, south London, Mr Lewis said: "Structural racism is a reality of our society, as is structural sexism.

"And that's the kind of society that we have.

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"Our job in politics is to try to understand that, identify it and challenge and tackle it.

"The PLP - the Parliamentary Labour Party - isn't immune from the same forces that affect everyone within our society.

"It's possible to be in the PLP and be sexist and be racist in some ways as part of those structural issues.

"Do I think that's the only reason that I'm on the nominations that I am? No. I think it's more complex than just saying it is because I'm black.

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"That might be a factor, but I wouldn't sit here and say it was the only one.

"I think the other factor is that I am saying some things that no other candidates are talking about."

Mr Lewis said he was confident he would make the threshold as 100 MPs had yet to declare.


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