Liz Kendall could be Labour's next leader. Photo: BBC
Show Hide image

Liz Kendall MP confirms she will be running for the Labour leadership

The shadow minister for care and older people confirms she will be running.

Liz Kendall confirmed to Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics that she will be running for the Labour leadership.

As an aside at the end of her interview, during which she was asked about Labour's future, its campaign mistakes, and the whereabouts of the Ed Stone, Neil asked: "You are running?"

"Yes," she replied.

Kendall has been MP for Leicester West since 2010 and is on the shadow health team. Her brief is care and older people.

She was widely touted as one of the runners and riders for the next Labour leader, and has now confirmed that she will be running.

She is thought of as a Blairite candidate, telling the Sunday Times:

We need to show people that we understand their aspirations and ambitions for the future, and if you look right across England, we did not do enough to appeal to Conservative supporters, and we must.

She has criticised Labour's campaign as being too negative, and also decried its narrow focus on zero-hours contracts.

Chuka Umunna, shadow business secretary and another likely candidate for the leadership was more coy on the Marr Show, refusing to confirm that he will be running, but giving a similar critique of Labour's past five years as Kendall.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.

Getty Images.
Show Hide image

The Brexit slowdown is real

As Europe surges ahead, the UK is enduring its worst economic growth for five years. 

The recession that the Treasury and others forecast would follow the EU referendum never came. But there is now unmistakable evidence of an economic slowdown. 

Growth in the second quarter of this year was 0.3 per cent, which, following quarter one's 0.2 per cent, makes this the worst opening half since 2012. For individuals, growth is now almost non-existent. GDP per capita rose by just 0.1 per cent, continuing the worst living standards recovery on record. 

That Brexit helped cause the slowdown, rather than merely coincided with it, is evidenced by several facts. One is that, as George Osborne's former chief of staff Rupert Harrison observes, "the rest of Europe is booming and we're not". In the year since the EU referendum, Britain has gone from being one of the west's strongest performers to one of its weakest. 

The long-promised economic rebalancing, meanwhile, is further away than ever. Industrial production and manufacturing declined by 0.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively, with only services (up 0.5 per cent) making up for the shortfall. But with real wage growth negative (falling by 0.7 per cent in the three months to May 2017), and household saving at a record low, there is limited potential for consumers to continue to power growth. The pound's sharp depreciation since the Brexit vote has cut wages (by increasing inflation) without producing a corresponding rise in exports. 

To the UK's existing defects – low productivity, low investment and low pay – new ones have been added: political uncertainty and economic instability. As the clock runs down on its departure date, Britain is drifting towards Brexit in ever-worse shape. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.