Yes she Kendall? Photo: Getty Images
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25 Labour parliamentary candidates back Liz Kendall for the Labour leadership

25 parliamentary candidates from across the country have endorsed Liz Kendall's bid for the Labour leadership. 

25 defeated parliamentary candidates have endorsed Liz Kendall in an open letter to the New Statesman. The candidates – who stood in seats both inside and outside Labour’s target list and come from across the party – say that they “believe the person best-placed to take Labour forwards and to win in the places where we lost on May 7 is Liz Kendall”.

They highlight that her recent pledge to turn Britain into a “living wage society”  shows she has the right ideas, “as well as the energy” to lead Labour. The candidates include Emily Benn, Tony Benn’s granddaughter, Matt Turmaine, the candidate for Kendall’s home seat of Watford, and Vicky Fowler, the candidate for Nuneaton, the seat that has become a symbol for the shock rout within the Labour party.


The full letter is below:


At the recent election, Labour lost seats across the country and failed to win in the areas where this election was decided.

We must now decide how we respond to the challenges we face as a party.

We believe that the person best-placed to take Labour forwards and to win in the places where we lost on May 7 is Liz Kendall. 

Her plan for a Living Wage society shows she has the ideas, as well as the energy, to lead our party. 

She can win back the trust of the British people and is committed to engaging both the party and local communities about how we shift power away from the centre and put it into the hands of those who need it most.

Liz is the fresh start that our party needs. As we seek to come back from two painful defeats, Liz Kendall is the right person to lead that fight.


Jess Asato Norwich North

Jack Abbott Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Gareth Barrett Epping Forest

Emily Benn Croydon South

Nick Bent Warrington South

Michael Borio Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner

John Fisher Aldridge Brownhills

Vicky Fowler Nuneaton

Kate Godfrey Stafford

Vicky Groulef Reading West

Nicola Heaton Mid Derbyshire

Sarah Jones Croydon Central

Naushabah Khan Rochester and Strood

Ollie Middleton Bath

Tristan Osbourne Chatham and Aylesford

Andrew Pakes Milton Keynes South

Jason Pandya-Woods Sleaford

Liam Preston Brentwood and Ongar

Steve Race East Devon

Alex Sanderson Chelsea and Fulham

Michael Taylor Hazel Grove

Nick Thulbourn North West Cambridgeshire

Matt Turmaine Watford

Julian Ware-Lane Southend West

Mary Wimbury Aberconwy


Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.

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Let's face it: supporting Spurs is basically a form of charity

Now, for my biggest donation yet . . .

I gazed in awe at the new stadium, the future home of Spurs, wondering where my treasures will go. It is going to be one of the architectural wonders of the modern world (football stadia division), yet at the same time it seems ancient, archaic, a Roman ruin, very much like an amphitheatre I once saw in Croatia. It’s at the stage in a new construction when you can see all the bones and none of the flesh, with huge tiers soaring up into the sky. You can’t tell if it’s going or coming, a past perfect ruin or a perfect future model.

It has been so annoying at White Hart Lane this past year or so, having to walk round walkways and under awnings and dodge fences and hoardings, losing all sense of direction. Millions of pounds were being poured into what appeared to be a hole in the ground. The new stadium will replace part of one end of the present one, which was built in 1898. It has been hard not to be unaware of what’s going on, continually asking ourselves, as we take our seats: did the earth move for you?

Now, at long last, you can see what will be there, when it emerges from the scaffolding in another year. Awesome, of course. And, har, har, it will hold more people than Arsenal’s new home by 1,000 (61,000, as opposed to the puny Emirates, with only 60,000). At each home game, I am thinking about the future, wondering how my treasures will fare: will they be happy there?

No, I don’t mean Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker – local as well as national treasures. Not many Prem teams these days can boast quite as many English persons in their ranks. I mean my treasures, stuff wot I have been collecting these past 50 years.

About ten years ago, I went to a shareholders’ meeting at White Hart Lane when the embryonic plans for the new stadium were being announced. I stood up when questions were called for and asked the chairman, Daniel Levy, about having a museum in the new stadium. I told him that Man United had made £1m the previous year from their museum. Surely Spurs should make room for one in the brave new mega-stadium – to show off our long and proud history, delight the fans and all those interested in football history and make a few bob.

He mumbled something – fluent enough, as he did go to Cambridge – but gave nothing away, like the PM caught at Prime Minister’s Questions with an unexpected question.

But now it is going to happen. The people who are designing the museum are coming from Manchester to look at my treasures. They asked for a list but I said, “No chance.” I must have 2,000 items of Spurs memorabilia. I could be dead by the time I finish listing them. They’ll have to see them, in the flesh, and then they’ll be free to take away whatever they might consider worth having in the new museum.

I’m awfully kind that way, partly because I have always looked on supporting Spurs as a form of charity. You don’t expect any reward. Nor could you expect a great deal of pleasure, these past few decades, and certainly not the other day at Liverpool when they were shite. But you do want to help them, poor things.

I have been downsizing since my wife died, and since we sold our Loweswater house, and I’m now clearing out some of my treasures. I’ve donated a very rare Wordsworth book to Dove Cottage, five letters from Beatrix Potter to the Armitt Library in Ambleside, and handwritten Beatles lyrics to the British Library. If Beckham and I don’t get a knighthood in the next honours list, I will be spitting.

My Spurs stuff includes programmes going back to 1910, plus recent stuff like the Opus book, that monster publication, about the size of a black cab. Limited editions cost £8,000 a copy in 2007. I got mine free, as I did the introduction and loaned them photographs. I will be glad to get rid of it. It’s blocking the light in my room.

Perhaps, depending on what they want, and they might take nothing, I will ask for a small pourboire in return. Two free tickets in the new stadium. For life. Or longer . . . 

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 16 February 2017 issue of the New Statesman, The New Times