Liz kendall

Are you the heir to Blair? Liz Kendall: ‘I don’t think so, actually.’

Unless something entirely undetected is happening in the Labour membership, Liz Kendall is not going to be elected party leader in the next few weeks. Today in an interview with the World at One, she said she was ‘definitely’ the underdog in the contest and that though ’I know I’ve got a long way to go’, she would be making the case ‘right towards the end’. Now her aim, it seems, is to advance her arguments about the future of Labour, rather than hoping that she might win. Those arguments might be characterised as Blairism, but when Kendall was asked if she was the ‘heir to Blair’, she said: ‘I

Milifandom founder backs Andy Burnham for Labour leader

Although the Milifandom wasn’t enough to lead Ed Miliband to victory at the polls, the cult movement did at least bring the former Labour leader’s lagging campaign some momentum in the final weeks of the election campaign. So perhaps it’s little surprise that the new Labour leadership hopefuls have been courting Milifandom founder Abby Tomlinson in a bid to win her endorsement ahead of the vote. After meeting with each contender, Tomlinson  has announced that she is backing Andy Burnham for leader. She says that she will give her second preference to Jeremy Corbyn — who has won the most union endorsements as well as CLP endorsements. Writing a comment piece in the

The agony of Labour’s old-fashioned modernisers

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”John McTernan and Isabel Hardman discuss the plight of Labour’s modernisers” startat=837] Listen [/audioplayer]The exhausted Labour leadership contest takes a bucket-and-spade holiday next week, with all four candidates agreeing to an uneasy truce on hustings — but probably not hostilities. It’s clear everyone could do with a bit of a rest, not least because they need time to sit down, scratch their heads and ask how on earth things got to where they are. Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran socialist, is still ahead — and not just in published polls, but in the returns all the campaigns are seeing. With private data putting him far ahead of the next

Jeremy Corbyn takes part in Mumsnet chat: ‘I do not have a rare skin condition’

This morning Jeremy Corbyn told Radio 4’s Women’s Hour that a thread on Mumsnet in which he was described by one user as being ‘attractive in a world weary old sea dog sort of way’ was ‘the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever heard’. So it must have been with some trepidation that Corbyn agreed to take part in a Mumsnet Q&A this lunchtime alongside his Labour leadership rival Liz Kendall. Would the lusty online mothers be able to put their amorous feelings to one side and ask a sensible question? The chat began with Corbyn answering a question regarding whether he has what it takes to handle the media scrutiny a party leader often

The old Labour right tells the new right to pull its finger out

Keeping Labour grounded to the centre is proving a tough battle for the moderates. Labour First, a pressure group of the old right within the party, has penned a public letter urging the Progress think tank, a voice from the new right, to put aside ideological purity and do whatever it takes to beat Jeremy Corbyn. Progress, which hosted Tony Blair last week, has naturally endorsed Liz Kendall for leader — but it has not instructed moderate voices to put Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper into second and third preferences to stop Corbyn. Labour First thinks this is a folly and urges Progress to take the necessary steps to beat Corbyn: ‘Within

The rival factions at war over Labour’s leadership contest

Which factions have the most influence in the Labour leadership and deputy leadership contest? The biggest split in the party is between the pressure group Progress and those with links to trade unions. Their respective outlooks are often perceived as being mutually exclusive, and the way the leadership contest is shaping up seems to suggest that this is true. Here is how the party breaks down between those two political poles, both in the 2010 contest and the one taking place currently. Around 80 of the 232 MPs in the Parliamentary Labour Party have taken part in Progress events over the last five years according to its website. Such MPs

The second preference conundrum and why Liz Kendall shouldn’t drop out

Is Liz Kendall about to quit the Labour leadership race? The Times reports comments from Labour sources who say Kendall’s time is up — given her poor showing in the recent YouGov poll and CLP nominations — and she should drop out for the good of the party. One MP told the paper ‘it may have to be Liz saying, “Look, I’m not going to win”‘. Another senior Labour figure said ‘there’s quite a bit of private pressure building up on Liz.’ These Labour figures do not appear to understand how the party leader is elected. The preferential Alternative Vote system means that candidates will be knocked one by one out until someone has

Who is to blame for the rise of Jeremy Corbyn? Ed Miliband

Well, look, it’s Ed Miliband’s fault isn’t it? Thrice over in fact. First for winning the Labour leadership, then for leading the party in the way he did and, finally, for leaving the leadership so abruptly. There are many ways of measuring the funk into which Labour has plummeted but one of the best is to consider that it is now seriously believed, in some quarters anyway, that Jeremy Corbyn might not be the worst choice as leader. Believed, I mean, by sensible people of reasonably sound mind who recognise that Corbyn would be a disaster for Labour and, quite possibly, for Britain. (If you doubt that, consider whether the

‘Yvette is dead in the water’ – Team Burnham on the YouGov Labour leadership poll

The YouGov survey might be ‘just one poll’ in a notoriously tricky race to predict, but it has sent shockwaves throughout the Labour party. Tristram Hunt and Tony Blair have been activated to plead with the party to stick to the centre ground, while the other leadership camps are taking differing views on what it means. Andy Burnham’s campaign do not seems too worried and thinks it spells trouble for Yvette Cooper. A source in the Burnham camp says: ‘It shows that Yvette is dead in the water, it’s a two horse race and she’s gone. We are ahead with members, just, and we’ll continue to fight for every vote. On the Jeremy Corbyn threat, Team

Labour will become a ‘pressure group’ if Corbyn wins, says Tristram Hunt

Labour is waking up this morning to the news that Jeremy Corbyn might stand a chance of actually become Labour leader. The question many are asking is how genuine this shift to the left is and will the poll ensure the party autocorrects itself onto a more centrist track. On the Today programme, the Blairite shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt argued that Labour has a ‘desire to return to some old certainties’ following its general election defeat: ‘The danger is that the Labour party, one of the great governing parties of the 20th and early 21st century that did enormously important things for Britain and Britain in the world, would be on a trajectory

Has Liz Kendall’s campaign run out of momentum?

Liz Kendall’s chances of winning the Labour leadership contest appear to be slipping away. On several measures, she has fallen into fourth place. Kendall has just 12 nominations from constituency Labour parties, compared to 58 for Yvette Cooper, 67 for Andy Burnham and 70 for Jeremy Corbyn. Leaked internal Labour party polling also put her in last place. The bookies concur: Ladbrokes currently have 10/1 odds on Kendall as the next Labour leader, compared to evens for Burnham, 9/4 for Cooper and 4/1 for Corbyn. Part of the problem might be Kendall’s strategy of throwing bucket after bucket of cold water over the Labour party. Take her speech this morning on devolution,

Five things we learnt from the Sunday Politics Labour leadership hustings

The four Labour leadership contenders took part in another televised hustings today, this time chaired by Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics. With just over 50 days left of this contest, the candidates are now more comfortable in each other’s company and seem much happier to attack each other. Although no one spectacularly won or failed, a few moments did provide some insight into the current state of the race. Here are five key points from today’s hustings. 1. Corbyn is comfortable running as the far left candidate. The rise of Corbynmania has overlooked that he has no frontbench experience and little idea of how to do serious politics. His appearance on the Sunday

Fraser Nelson

Labour leadership bingo: your guide to the leadership debate

Yes, it’s a sunny Sunday – but for Tories, it will be a lot sunnier after watching the Labour Party leadership debate. With some helpful suggestions from Twitter, here’s my guide to what they’ll say: Yvette Cooper: ‘Working mum!’ or ‘as a mother’ What she’ll mean: ‘I am one, unlike Liz Kendall! So I’ll make out like I oppose cuts in family tax credits more because I’m a mum – and how many other mums are standing on this panel? Eh? Eh, Liz? Of course, being rich doesn’t stop me understanding the poor; being healthy doesn’t stop me understanding the sick. But being a mum does mean I have unique insights into

Labour in chaos: what are the party’s options?

Labour is in an almighty mess at the moment. Those involved in the leadership campaigns are surprised by how the mood in the party has changed from quite open acceptance of a need to change in the days after the election defeat to angry dissent when change is suggested, as evidenced by the reaction to Harriet Harman’s welfare policies this week. The party isn’t quite having a row about what it should stand for at the next election, preferring instead to argue about how it does opposition for the next eight weeks, most of which are in Parliamentary recess. Here are the various options for what Labour does, both in

James Forsyth

Jeremy Corbyn’s extraordinary success is a coup for the Tories | 15 July 2015

It wasn’t meant to work out this way. A month ago, Westminster watched to see if Jeremy Corbyn could get the support of the 35 MPs he needed to enter the Labour leadership race. At the time, it seemed a sort of joke. After all, the people who were lending him their backing weren’t doing so for any great love of Corbyn. As a rule, they either wanted a ‘broad debate’ or thought that the ritual slaughter of the left-wing candidate would make it easier for the new leader to move the party to the centre. A month on, things look very different. Corbyn now has the endorsement of Unite,

Labour has lost its senses if it thinks Liz Kendall is a Tory

Here are four things that Liz Kendall has said during the Labour leadership campaign. First, that she would never close a successful school. Second, that the country should always come first, not the party. Third, that the UK should spend at last 2 per cent of GDP in defence. And finally, that Harriet Harman is right — Labour need to understand that the voters did not trust them on welfare, and that regaining that trust is as important as gaining a reputation for economic competence. To a voter, none of this is particularly controversial. Good schools, patriotism, strong defence and fair welfare — that’s what they want, that’s what government

Liz Kendall’s Facebook Q&A offers a window into the Labour party’s madness

Liz Kendall spent an hour on Facebook this evening answering questions from Labour supporters. Those sitting on a social network on a Tuesday evening are clearly not entirely representative of the party’s membership, but this Q&A suggests Kendall has a perception problem in some quarters. The sheer vitriol of the comments from those who claim to be Labour supporters shows that some folks really do not like Kendall. Here is a selection some of the users had to about Kendall being a supposed closest Tory (these posts enviably had the most likes, far more than her responses): ‪Paul Whiteley‪: Hi Liz…..sorry but don’t you think with your right of centre policies & views that you might not

Coffee Shots: Labour go after the youth vote

With the under-25s seen to be the losers in George Osborne’s Budget yesterday, it seems Labour have found an audience they might actually be able to win over. Bring on the youth. Ed Miliband tried to relive his glory days in Parliament this lunchtime as he met with a throng of school girls representing the Milifandom: Right now in PCH @Ed_Miliband is assembling some kind of #Milifandom zombie army. Run for your lives! — Eye Spy MP (@eyespymp) July 9, 2015 He's briefing the #Milifandom. This could turn ugly at any moment. WHERE THE F### IS SECURITY? — Eye Spy MP (@eyespymp) July 9, 2015 Not wanting to be outdone, future

Labour MP: I’m supporting Yvette Cooper because she’s a mother

How, as a seasoned politician, might you decide who to back in the party’s leadership contest? It might be that you’re swayed by the ministerial experience of one candidate, or perhaps the fierce commitment of another candidate to a policy that you hold very dear. Perhaps it’s because you’re from the same faction in the party, because you’ve been friends for years, or maybe it’s because, as a result of various twists of good fortune and circumstances not entirely under their control, they have children. Apparently, that last is the primary reason that Helen Goodman, a Labour MP who served as a minister when her party was in government, selected

How the three stages of the Labour leadership race could benefit Liz Kendall

Liz Kendall is continuing to push herself as the ‘change everything’ candidate for the Labour leadership. During a speech at Reuters this morning, Kendall called for the party to make a big shift on fiscal responsibility if it has any hope of winning the next election — a task some think is beyond Labour in its current state: ‘If we continue to stick with the politics that we had at the last election or, indeed, over the last seven or eight years, we will get the same result. Einstein said the definition of madness was to continue doing the same thing over and over again and expect to get a different result. We need