Emily Thornberry has been eliminated from the Labour leadership race after failing to secure enough nominations.

At the midnight Friday deadline, she had 31 nominations from local constituency parties – two short of the 33 needed to make it on to the members’ ballot starting next week.

It leaves Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy in the running for the top job.

All three have qualified with the support of unions and affiliate groups.

Shadow foreign secretary Ms Thornberry tweeted that it was a “shame to miss out on the rest of the race, but good luck to the three superb remaining candidates”.

She did not get any nominations from Labour Party affiliates – the other route on to the ballot paper.

Under party rules, candidates had to secure support from three unions or affiliates representing 5% of the membership, or 33 constituency Labour parties (CLPs).

Labour members will begin voting on the remaining candidates from Monday 24 February. Voting closes on 2 April, with the result announced two days later.

Current leader Jeremy Corbyn confirmed he would step down at his election count in December as his party faced its worst performance in terms of seats since 1935.

There is also a contest running for the next deputy leader of the party, following Tom Watson’s resignation in December.

All five candidates who put themselves forward made the ballot: shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon, shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler, Scotland’s only remaining Labour MP Ian Murray and Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan.

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