Could Angela Eagle be the first lesbian Labour leader?
Rumours are circulating that Angela Eagle plans to throw her hat in the ring for the Labour leadership.
The Labour MP, who served as a Minister under Gordon Brown and is currently Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, is one of just three out lesbians currently in Parliament.
Ms Eagle, who was re-elected on Thursday with a 38-point lead in her Wallasey constituency, is thought to be considering a run to replace Labour leader Ed Miliband, who resigned yesterday.
Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman – who is serving as acting leader until a new leader is chosen – has also announced she plans to step down, leading to a second leadership vacancy.
A source told the Liverpool Echo: “Angela’s thinking about running the Labour leadership or deputy leadership. She’s popular with members, the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party), and unions.”
She would face stiff competition from rumoured front-runners Chuka Umunna, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Dan Jarvis – making a run for deputy leader more plausible.
Ms Eagle’s twin sister, Maria Eagle, is also an MP.
Angela Eagle previously spoke out against current asylum guidelines for LGBT people, telling PinkNews last month: “There are some daft decisions in terms of how they decide whether you are gay or not, which are about ignorance about what being gay actually is.
“We need to come up with a structure that works better than that old caricature that, for example, says that if you are a lesbian you can’t have children… I mean how ignorant is that?
“We also need a broad, global view of what it means to be gay and lesbian, and the kinds of lives gay people are living internationally, in extremely hostile environments where you can be not just put in jail, but killed – which is why the role of an LGBT rights envoy is so integral.