Lord Mandelson, the U.K.’s former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, has waded into the Labour Party leadership contest, hinting the best candidate should come from the center left of the party.
Speaking for the first time about the candidates, who include Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry, Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy, the peer told MarketWatch: “There’s no point dwelling in the past. The candidate who should win is the one who is best placed to lead the party to victory in the future.”
Mandelson, who is attending the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland and is the co-founder and chairman of strategic advisory firm Global Counsel, refused to back any specific candidate.
He added: “You’ve got to build a bridge to the future. That’s all I would say. I’m not getting into individuals.”
The successful candidate will be announced on April 4. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would stand down after his party suffered its worst electoral defeat in 84 years in December 2019.
Corbyn took Labour from a successful center-left party that under Tony Blair won three elections, to the more extreme left, promising radical reforms in business and the economy.
Party members have to decide whether to back a candidate in the mold of Corbyn or one seeking a more progressive center-left stance.
This article is part of Barron’s Group’s ongoing coverage of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.