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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The problems with ending encryption to fight terrorism

Forcing tech firms to create a "backdoor" to access messages would be a gift to cyber-hackers.

The UK has endured its worst terrorist atrocity since 7 July 2005 and the threat level has been raised to "critical" for the first time in a decade. Though election campaigning has been suspended, the debate over potential new powers has already begun.

Today's Sun reports that the Conservatives will seek to force technology companies to hand over encrypted messages to the police and security services. The new Technical Capability Notices were proposed by Amber Rudd following the Westminster terrorist attack and a month-long consultation closed last week. A Tory minister told the Sun: "We will do this as soon as we can after the election, as long as we get back in. The level of threat clearly proves there is no more time to waste now. The social media companies have been laughing in our faces for too long."

Put that way, the plan sounds reasonable (orders would be approved by the home secretary and a senior judge). But there are irrefutable problems. Encryption means tech firms such as WhatsApp and Apple can't simply "hand over" suspect messages - they can't access them at all. The technology is designed precisely so that conversations are genuinely private (unless a suspect's device is obtained or hacked into). Were companies to create an encryption "backdoor", as the government proposes, they would also create new opportunities for criminals and cyberhackers (as in the case of the recent NHS attack).

Ian Levy, the technical director of the National Cyber Security, told the New Statesman's Will Dunn earlier this year: "Nobody in this organisation or our parent organisation will ever ask for a 'back door' in a large-scale encryption system, because it's dumb."

But there is a more profound problem: once created, a technology cannot be uninvented. Should large tech firms end encryption, terrorists will merely turn to other, lesser-known platforms. The only means of barring UK citizens from using the service would be a Chinese-style "great firewall", cutting Britain off from the rest of the internet. In 2015, before entering the cabinet, Brexit Secretary David Davis warned of ending encryption: "Such a move would have had devastating consequences for all financial transactions and online commerce, not to mention the security of all personal data. Its consequences for the City do not bear thinking about."

Labour's manifesto pledged to "provide our security agencies with the resources and the powers they need to protect our country and keep us all safe." But added: "We will also ensure that such powers do not weaken our individual rights or civil liberties". The Liberal Democrats have vowed to "oppose Conservative attempts to undermine encryption."

But with a large Conservative majority inevitable, according to polls, ministers will be confident of winning parliamentary support for the plan. Only a rebellion led by Davis-esque liberals is likely to stop them.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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