Veteran Labour MP Barry Gardiner has told the BBC he is considering running for the party’s leadership.

The shadow international trade spokesman will make a decision whether to enter the race shortly, political editor Laura Kuenssberg said.

However, contrary to some reports, he said he had not been urged to run by Len McCluskey, the Unite union boss.

Candidates have until 13 January to win the backing of the 22 MPs and MEPs needed to get on the ballot paper.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sir Keir Starmer became the first candidate to pass this threshold, amassing 41 nominations. He also won the backing of the UK’s largest union Unison, the first union to state a preference.

The other contenders to succeed leader Jeremy Corbyn are shadow business secretary

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