Black Country MP Tom Watson faces a battle against three rivals in his bid to become Labour’s Deputy Leader.
Candidates needed nominations from 35 Labour MPs to move forward to the contest when party members and supporters – who can sign up for as little as £3 – will pick the winner in an election.
He faces a challenge from South Yorkshire MP Carline Flint, the Shadow Energy Secretary; backbench London MP Stella Creasy, known for her campaign against payday lending firms; Merseyside MP Angela Eagle, the shadow leader of the Commons, and Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, a former Culture Secretary.
Mr Watson, MP for West Bromwich East, is seen as the favourite with bookmakers Ladbrokes offering odds of 4/5 on him becoming deputy leader.
Ladbrokes has Stella Creasy second favourite, with odds of 5/2, although many commentators see Caroline Flint as the candidate with the best chance of beating Mr Watson.
In his official statement to Labour members and supporters he describes himself as “a conviction politician” who “took on Rupert Murdoch, highlighting phone-hacking at the News of the World” and “exposed child abuse cover-ups amongst the powerful”.
But there was some disappointment among Labour activists that Bethnal Green MP Rushanara Ali did not make it on to the ballot paper. She pulled out of the contest before nominations closed.
John Prescott, Labour’s former Deputy Leader, stated on Twitter that the rules should be changed to reduce the number of nominations needed to stand.
Mrs Ali was born in Bangladesh and would have been the only non-white candidate for Labour’s leadership or deputy leadership – but the party now has nine candidates for the two posts, all of them white.
Meanwhile, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has emerged as the choice of Midland MPs to become the party’s next leader and the first female leader in Labour’s history.
She received more nominations from MPs in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands than any of her rivals. She also has support from many East Midlands MPs.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, who along with Mrs Cooper is seen as one of the favourites, had fewer than half as many nominations from West Midlands Labour MPs.
However, he has a lot of support from Labour MPs in the North of England.
Left-wing MP Jeremy Corbyn, a London MP, is also standing after he succeeded in gaining 35 nominations at the last minute, but none of these came from West Midland MPs.
And Shadow Care Minister Liz Kendall is also standing. She is seen as a “Blairite” candidate who believes Labour should look at how it won elections under Tony Blair rather than rejecting Mr Blair’s reforms.
Midland MPs backing Mrs Cooper included Dudley North MP Ian Austin, Birmingham Northfield MP Richard Burden, Birmingham Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne, Birmingham Erdington MP Jack Dromey, Birmingham Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood, Birmingham Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood, Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips and Warley MP John Spellar.
MPs backing Andy Burnham included Staffordshire MPs Paul Farrelly, MP for Newcastle-Under-Lyme and Rob Flello, MP for Stoke-On-Trent South, as well as Walsall South MP Valerie Vaz.
Liz Kendall’s backers include Birmingham Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart and Wolverhampton MPs Emma Reynolds and Pat McFadden.
The candidates will have a chance to show why they should be leader when they take questions in a hustings event in Birmingham on June 27.
But Birmingham MP Shabana Mahmood intervened after the leadership campaign turned nasty.
Ms Mahmood, part of Mrs Cooper’s campaign team, said: “The worst thing we can do now is to descend into in-fighting, squabbles and rows.”
She was speaking following reports that supporters of leadership contender Liz Kendall had been compared to the Taliban, the extremist group which seized control of Afghanistan.
A number of Labour MPs have also complained about London left-winger Jeremy Corbyn entering the leadership race.
Black Country MP John Spellar (Lab Warley) pointed out that Mr Corbyn had congratulated Respect MP George Galloway on winning a by-election in 2012 - even though it meant the Labour candidate lost.
Mr Spellar told his Twitter followers: “For once words fail me!”
And Black Country MP Ian Austin (Lab Dudley North) also pointed out the comments, telling his Twitter followers: “This is how a candidate for the Labour leadership responded to our defeat in Bradford in 2012.”