U.K. Labour Party to Declare New Leader on Sept. 25

Britain’s Labour Party will announce the winner of its leadership election on Sept. 25, the day before activists begin their annual conference.

The contest was triggered by the resignation of Gordon Brown after Labour lost the May 6 general election. So far, David Miliband and his brother Ed Miliband, both former Cabinet ministers, have said they want to be candidates.

“This leadership election is an important opportunity for the Labour Party to reflect, renew itself and re-engage with the people of Britain,” acting leader Harriet Harman said in a statement in London today.

The race to succeed Brown will be Labour’s first contested leadership election since 1994, when Tony Blair won the backing of the party following the sudden death of John Smith. Brown replaced Blair in 2007 without a challenge.

A leadership contender will need the support of 33 of the 258 Labour lawmakers in the House of Commons. A ballot will then be held, with equal weight given to Labour legislators including those in the European Parliament, party members and affiliated labor unions.

If a candidate receives a majority of votes, he or she is declared leader. If not, the person with the fewest votes is eliminated and second-preference votes are reallocated. The process continues until a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. Blair won in 1994 with 57 percent.

Balloting is due to take place between Aug. 16 and Sept. 22. Other former Cabinet ministers Ed Balls and Andy Burnham have yet to rule themselves out of the contest. Harman, who is not standing and wants to remain deputy leader, said as many as 4 million people affiliated to the party will be involved.

Labour’s annual conference runs from Sept. 26-30 in Manchester, northern England.

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