STEPHEN Doughty MP has announced his support for Sir Keir Starmer as the next Labour party leader.

Mr Starmer is the Labour MP for Holborn and St. Pancras, and the shadow secretary of state for leaving the EU.

He is one of six Labour MPs who have confirmed that they are running for the party leadership, which will be decided at the beginning of April.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday January 7, Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, Stephen Doughty, announced his support for Mr Starmer, saying:

“After talking to many over the last few weeks on the challenges the UK, Wales and our party now face, I have nominated Keir Starmer today - to best help us oppose the Tories over the coming years, to reunite and to win at UK level to deliver a different future for our country.

“And in the meantime, we will continue fighting as Welsh Labour with our Welsh Government standing up for Wales against Johnson and the Tories, with our Welsh Labour Police and Crime Commissioners, and with our Welsh Labour Councils making a real grassroots difference for Cardiff and the Vale”.

The latest figures released by Labour show that Starmer is the current favourite at Westminster, with 63 nominations from MPs.

Candidates need nominations from 10 percent of MPs and MEPs, plus nominations from trade unions or five per cent of constituency parties to enter the ballot.

A poll of members from January 2 indicates that Starmer is a clear frontrunner to win.

Three more Labour MPs have secured enough nominations to enter the contest – Rebecca Long Bailey, Jess Phillips and Lisa Nandy.

Emily Thornbury and Clive Lewis, two other prospective candidates, have not yet secured enough nominations. The deadline to enter the ballot is on Monday January 13.

Mr Starmer has previously criticised Labour’s non-committal approach to Brexit and said that it did not do enough to tackle anti-Semitism.

He has also cautioned against calls to move away from Labour’s radical agenda and has committed to supporting Jeremy Corby’s green new deal, outlined in the party’s manifesto, which proposes plans for a carbon neutral society.

Labour members who join the party before 5pm on Monday, January 20, will be eligible to vote.

In addition, supporters who register between Tuesday January 14 and Thursday January 16 and pay a £25 fee will be able to take part in this ballot.

Voting will begin on Friday February 21 and end on Thursday April 2.

The candidates who have declared so far are:

Sir Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit secretary, 63 nominations

Rebecca Long Bailey, shadow business secretary, 26 nominations

Lisa Nandy, 24 nominations

Jess Phillips, 22 nominations

Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary, nine nominations

Clive Lewis, shadow minister for sustainable economics, four nominations