HEXHAM Constituency Labour Party has cast their vote on who to nominate for the party’s leader and deputy leader as the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn nears its conclusion.

Following a close contest on February 6, with 100 members casting their vote, party members nominated Keir Starmer for leader, with Dawn Butler nominated for deputy.

Under preferential voting one candidate needs to secure more than 50 per cent of votes cast to secure nomination, with the second preference votes from lower scoring candidates being allocated.

In the final round for leader Keir Starmer had 58 votes while Rebecca Long Bailey had 42 votes. In the final round for deputy leader Dawn Butler had 56 votes while Richard Burgon had 41.

Ballots for the leadership election are due to be sent out to members and registered supporters from February 24.

As it stands, Mr Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, is leading the race in terms of CLP nominations with 281. Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Mrs Long-Bailey is a distant second with 124 votes.

The leadership campaign has seen a surge in membership for Hexham’s CLP, which has attracted 214 new members since the general election in December.

Voting for the leadership closes on April 2 at noon, with the results announced two days later.