Wearside’s MPs have voiced their support for Angela Eagle after she announced her bid to challenge for leadership of the Labour party.
The office of Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott confirmed she is backing the former shadow business secretary after her decision to contest Jeremy Corbyn’s position.
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, and Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, have also said they are supporting Ms Eagle as an attempt is made to remove Mr Corbyn from his post.
As Ms Eagle announced she would be running for the Labour leadership, Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom said she would be pulling out of her party’s leadership campaign, saying rival and Home Secretary Theresa May was best placed to run the country post-Brexit.
It came in the wake of an apology from Mrs Leadsom the day after she suggested being a mother made her a better candidate for the role, which leaves Mrs May in line to become the UK and her party’s second woman Prime Minister.
Along with a link to a news story about how supposed peace talks had failed following an effort to oust Mr Corbyn, Mrs Hodgson tweeted: “Tories now have 2nd woman PM.
I am backing Jeremy Corbyn who has demonstrated he has the overwhelming support of affiliated trades unions, individual Labour party members and supporters.Grahame Morris
“We have never elected a woman leader.
“About time we did so #ImWithAngela.”
She also said: “We need to reconnect with our lost voters.
“As a working class northern woman, Angela can do this.”
Ms Phillipson issued a statement which says: “I signed a letter to the General Secretary of the Labour Party in support of Angela Eagle to begin the process of a leadership election.
“It is no secret that I didn’t vote for Jeremy last summer, but I had always hoped he would make a success of it.
“Recent days and weeks have shown that he can’t.
“Until the vote of no confidence a fortnight ago, I had never been publicly critical of Jeremy. That is not my politics.
“I am a Labour loyalist to my core. When I thought the time had come for him to go, I addressed my concerns directly to Jeremy at a full meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
“I joined the Labour Party because I have always believed that government can be a force for good, and that under Labour it is a force for good. But it can only be a force for good when it is in power.
Our country faces the biggest economic and political crisis of our generation.
“We need a strong Labour Party ready to fight a possible early general election with a credible and inspiring alternative to an increasingly right wing Tory government.
“I believe that Angela is best placed to unite our party and lead us at this critical time for Britain.
“I know some members and constituents will disagree. We live in a democracy. But in a political context which is becoming too polarised, I would ask you to remember that we all of us bear responsibility for treating each other courteously and sharing views in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance, and respect.”
Easington MP Grahame Morris was last month appointed to Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Shadow Minister for the Constitutional Convention last month.
The following day, Mrs Hodgson resigned from her post of shadow minister for children and families saying she did not believe he was the right person to lead the party or head up its task to get back into Government.
However, Mr Morris is unshaken in his support for Mr Corbyn, who attracted huge support at Saturday’s Durham Miners’ Gala, where he headlined as top speaker.
Mr Morris said: “I am backing Jeremy Corbyn who has demonstrated he has the overwhelming support of affiliated trades unions, individual Labour party members and supporters. “Throughout the country he has re-ignited enthusiasm particularly amongst the young and given real hope that a Labour Government will adopt policies to end austerity. “Under his leadership Jeremy has won four parliamentary by-elections increasingly the Labour majorities, he has won four mayoral elections and increased the Labour vote share in the May local government elections.
“He has the respect and goodwill of many voters following his pledge to engage in a new kind of politics.
“His commitment to have a return to prosperity for working people and their families is popular and electorally credible.”
Easington Constituency Labour Party is due to discuss who it will back in the challenge later this month.