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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.

Signed

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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PMQs review: Theresa May shows how her confidence has grown

After her Brexit speech, the PM declared of Jeremy Corbyn: "I've got a plan - he doesn't have a clue". 

The woman derided as “Theresa Maybe” believes she has neutralised that charge. Following her Brexit speech, Theresa May cut a far more confident figure at today's PMQs. Jeremy Corbyn inevitably devoted all six of his questions to Europe but failed to land a definitive blow.

He began by denouncing May for “sidelining parliament” at the very moment the UK was supposedly reclaiming sovereignty (though he yesterday praised her for guaranteeing MPs would get a vote). “It’s not so much the Iron Lady as the irony lady,” he quipped. But May, who has sometimes faltered against Corbyn, had a ready retort. The Labour leader, she noted, had denounced the government for planning to leave the single market while simultaneously seeking “access” to it. Yet “access”, she went on, was precisely what Corbyn had demanded (seemingly having confused it with full membership). "I've got a plan - he doesn't have a clue,” she declared.

When Corbyn recalled May’s economic warnings during the referendum (“Does she now disagree with herself?”), the PM was able to reply: “I said if we voted to leave the EU the sky would not fall in and look at what has happened to our economic situation since we voted to leave the EU”.

Corbyn’s subsequent question on whether May would pay for single market access was less wounding than it might have been because she has consistently refused to rule out budget contributions (though yesterday emphasised that the days of “vast” payments were over).

When the Labour leader ended by rightly hailing the contribution immigrants made to public services (“The real pressure on public services comes from a government that slashed billions”), May took full opportunity of the chance to have the last word, launching a full-frontal attack on his leadership and a defence of hers. “There is indeed a difference - when I look at the issue of Brexit or any other issues like the NHS or social care, I consider the issue, I set out my plan and I stick to it. It's called leadership, he should try it some time.”

For May, life will soon get harder. Once Article 50 is triggered, it is the EU 27, not the UK, that will take back control (the withdrawal agreement must be approved by at least 72 per cent of member states). With MPs now guaranteed a vote on the final outcome, parliament will also reassert itself. But for now, May can reflect with satisfaction on her strengthened position.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.