The Labour leadership contest has produced another startling twist after Jeremy Corbyn, a backbench left-winger, announced he plans to run for the top job.

The Islington MP said he will campaign on an "anti-austerity" platform and revealed he was driven to make the decision to give party members "a broader range of candidates".

"This decision to stand is in response to an overwhelming call by Labour party members who want to see a broader range of candidates and a thorough debate about the future of the party. I am standing to give Labour party members a voice in this debate," the 66-year-old said in statement to the Islington Tribune.

Corbyn, a chairman of the Stop the War coalition, received his first public endorsement from Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett just hours after the announcement.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis and Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell have also thrown their support behind Corbyn.

But that still leaves the London MP 32 signatures short in order to progress to the next stage of the contest, with just over a week until nominations close on 15 June.

Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, is tipped to win the contest and is ahead of the pack with 51 endorsements.

Yvette Cooper (31), Liz Kendall (22) and Mary Creagh (six) are all short of the 35 nominations threshold, according to data compiled by The New Statesman.

The short-lived Labour leadership contest, triggered after Labour's worst performance in the polls since 1983, has already had its fair share of drama.

Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, pulled out of the race just days after launching his campaign.

Likewise, Tristram Hunt was expected to announce his bid in a speech to the left-leaning Demos think-tank, but the shadow education secretary surprisingly threw his support behind Kendall.

Ed Miliband, however, has kept a low profile since the devastating election loss. The former Labour leader took a family holiday to Ibiza after his resignation and the 45-year-old has recently been spotted in the House of Commons.