Yvette Cooper, one of the four candidates to lead the Labour party, has warned. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World at One Cooper said:
“The party does seem to be polarising between the different extremes and I don’t think that is the right thing to do. Partly, we want to hold our party together in order to win. Divided parties don’t win, but it’s actually much more than that. I just don’t think the extremes of the party are the right place to be and are true to our values and are true to the things we need to do to change the country for the future”.
A spokesman for the Labour Party has confirmed that they have been receiving legal advice over the legality of the current leadership contest. A party spokesman said:
“We have taken legal advice to make sure that the rules are being complied with and that all due diligence as possible was being done”.
The spokesman also confirmed that there were no plans to delay or suspend the leadership contest despite claims that members of other parties had joined under the new £3 rate to cast a vote.
Following the resignation of Ed Miliband in May 2015 the acting leader, Harriet Harman, had said:
“This contest will be run under the new rules we agreed last year: a broad and open contest with one person, one vote. We want as many people as possible to take part. More than 30,000 new members have joined the party in the last few days and I hope many more members and supporters will take this opportunity to have their voice heard”.
The four candidates in the leadership process are Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall. The voting process is already underway and the result will be announced at a special conference to be held on Saturday 12 September 2015.
Jeremy Corbyn, one of the four candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party, has said that he could work with Andy Burnham who is one of the other candidates.
Corbyn said on Newsnight:
“Obviously there has to be a party of all the talents and of course, we can work together, and that’s an easy thing to do”.
Yvette Cooper, also standing for leadership of the Labour Party, criticised Burnham’s position which represents a change to previous stances that he has taken on Jeremy Corbyn. She called on Burnham to stand down with her campaign team saying:
“Our figures show he will drop out in the second round because his campaign is failing to provide an effective alternative to Jeremy and he is losing first preferences as a consequence. If he isn’t prepared to offer an alternative to Jeremy, he needs to step back and leave it to Yvette”.
Yvette Cooper has denied allegations made in a Daily Telegraph article that Peter Mandelson had called on her, and the other leadership candidates, to step down.
Confirming that she didn’t intend to step down from the contest Cooper said:
“I’ve not discussed this with Peter Mandelson. I gather there was some view that maybe the whole process should be stopped because so many people were joining at the last minute”.
Peter Mandelson, the former First Secretary of State, was accused of interfering with the process to leave Jeremy Corbyn as the only candidate in the leadership race.
Andy Burnham has become the third candidate in the Labour leadership to warn of the dangers of electing Jeremy Corbyn, the remaining candidate for the leadership.
In an interview Burnham said:
“Think carefully before you vote and don’t make Labour a party of protest that is racked by internal divisions rather than focusing on being a proper opposition and taking on the Tories”.
Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall had both also warned of the dangers of electing Corbyn with Cooper preparing a critique of his policies and Kendall warning about the difficulties of progressing peace in Northern Ireland.
Burnham’s attacks come just a day after he said that criticisms of Corbyn were “misreading the mood of the party”.
The Daily Mirror, the only national newspaper to support Labour at the 2015 General Election, also came out in support of Andy Burnham. It said in an editorial:
“Parents fighting to put food on their table tonight do not need Labour to spend many, many years in the wilderness which followed Michael Foot’s leadership in the 1980s”.
Yvette Cooper, one of Labour’s leadership candidates, has strongly criticised the policies of one of her rivals Jeremy Corbyn and said that he has “old solutions to old problems”.
Cooper said in her speech:
“So tell me what you think is more radical. Bringing back clause IV, spending billions of pounds we haven’t got switching control of some power stations from a group of white middle-aged men in an energy company to a group of white middle-aged men in Whitehall, as Jeremy wants? Or extending Sure Start, giving mothers the power and confidence to transform their own lives and transform their children’s lives for years to come?”.
The comments in Cooper’s speech come shortly after a plea was made by Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, saying that a Corbyn victory could annihilate the Labour party. The Corbyn team distanced itself from Blair’s comments saying that they wanted a positive campaign but hasn’t yet responded to the speech made by Cooper.
The other two candidates in the Labour leadership race are Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham,
The Labour Party has confirmed that 1,200 people have been banned from voting in its leadership election. The party has the power to remove anyone who also supports another political party and said more may be removed later.
Among those removed from voting include Ken Loach, the film director who supports Left Unity, Toby Young, a journalist who encouraged others to join the party to vote Corbyn, and Tim Loughton, the Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham.
The party said of those who were banned from voting there were 214 members of the Green Party, 37 from the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, 13 from the Conservative Party, 7 from UKIP and 1 from the BNP.
The result of the Labour leadership will be announced on 12 September with the four candidates including Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall.
Jeremy Corbyn, one of the four candidates for the Labour leadership, has caused controversy over remarks he made in an interview with the Independent on Sunday over his support for nationalising some companies.
In the interview with the Independent on Sunday Corbyn said:
“I think we should talk about what the objectives of the party are, whether that’s restoring clause IV as it was originally written or it’s a different one”.
The remarks drew criticism from the other leadership candidates, including Liz Kendall who said:
“This shows there is nothing new about Corbyn’s politics. It is just a throwback to the past, not the change we need for our party or our country. We are a party of the future not a preservation society”.
The other two candidates for the leadership, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham, also criticised Corbyn’s comments. Cooper said:
“I want Britain to double its investment in science to create 2m more hi-tech manufacturing jobs. We should be working in partnership with business, not spending billions of pounds we haven’t got buying businesses out”.
Yvette Cooper, one of the four candidates to be leader of the Labour Party, has called on David Cameron to stop the appointment of any more Peers to the House of Lords.
She accused the Prime Minister of “vandalising democracy” rather than working with other parties to modernise the constitution.
Cooper, who is married to the former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, wrote:
“Our uncodified constitution is being stretched at the seams and our democracy undermined by David Cameron’s pursuit of narrow party political interest.
“For generations the constitutional settlement in Britain has relied on political parties and Prime Ministers respecting democratic principles and not using constitutional change to pursue their own party purpose. Instead David Cameron and the Tories are vandalising democracy by pursuing their own narrow party political interest rather than seeking public consent or cross party consensus for major changes to our democratic institutions
“The list of Tory party political attempted assaults on our uncodified, and partly unwritten constitution is long – trying to flood the House of Lords with more Tory appointments, to change voting in the Commons to favour the Tories, to change boundaries to help the Tories, to change party funding to hurt the Labour Party and to nobble the Speaker of the Commons. And all of it without cross party consensus, or public consent. The Conservatives are acting without a shred of integrity.
“At the same time there is a long term need for major reform especially after the Scottish referendum, to reflect greater devolution, the need for a new framework for England and Wales and for local government too. And it must include long overdue reform of the House of Lords.
“Our current constitution is out of date. But we can’t rely on this Prime Minister to modernise it in the wider interests of democracy rather than the narrow interest of the Tory Party.
“As Leader I will set up an extra-Parliamentary constitutional convention in the absence of action from the Prime Minister. I want all parties and all parts of civil society involved in this. If David Cameron won’t establish a fair and proper democratic and constitutional reform process, I will”.
Ed Balls, the former Shadow Chancellor, is set to move to a teaching role at Harvard University after losing his Morley and Outwood seat at the 2015 General Election. The Evening Standard reported that his role is expected to be in the economic department and temporary to allow him to help his wife, Yvette Cooper, with her bid to win the 2015 Labour leadership election.