Liz Kendall confirms she’s standing to be leader

10th May, 2015 2:33 pm

Liz Kendall has become the first person to confirm that she is standing to be leader of the Labour party.

Since Ed Miliband’s resignation on Friday, Kendall has been tipped as one of the people who would throw her name into the hat. It’s clear now that she will indeed run. When asked on the Sunday Politics whether she was running, she answered with an unequivocal “yes”. This makes her the first person to confirm that she will.

Kendall who has been the MP for Leicester West since 2010 has also been Shadow Minister for Care and Older People since 2011 – and is thought to have growing support in the PLP.

Here’s Kendall confirming that she’ll be standing:

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  • napoleon

    Yipee.

    She seems a good performer and she recognizes the need for Blairism.

  • Dan

    Performed a lot better than Chuka this morning I thought and I haven’t heard about any massive gaffes (see Chuka’s trash-gate). Interesting to see someone able to turn an interview round on Andrew Neil.

    Curious to hear more, but nervous about that media label as ‘Arch-Blairite’.

    • Matthew Blott

      Probably smearing done by her enemies. Unite are quite good at that sort of thing.

      • Dave Postles

        She’s a Vice-Chair of Progress. All the press refer to her as Blairite. Her interview with the House magazine undercut Burnham on privatization. She is heir to Hewitt in many ways. The poor have enough problems with Smith restored at DWP.

        • Michael Murray

          I agree. And on top of everything else she is completely underwhelming. I certainly won’t be voting for her.

      • As a new sign-up to LabourList, I have to say that at first glance, your contributions here are pretty negative. You’re not Piers Morgan in disguise are you? You quip like a Murdoch hack.

        • Matthew Blott

          That’s playing the man not the ball.

          • The kicker kicked. Apologies, I don’t like personal attacks either but you might want to examine your remarks before posting. As will I.

  • Gordon

    lets not be superficial what does she believe in, what can she bring to the party, does she have the depth of thought and strength of will to see this through. I don’t have any problem with her declaring nor would I have any problem if she becomes leader but I urge people to demand much more from the people that run this time. I know I will not just pay lip service as I did the last time.

  • bevinboy

    Andrew Neil was very gentle with her.

    I am suspicious.

    • liversedge

      maybe he can see everyone is sore, no need to rub salt in.

    • Matthew Blott

      Suspicious of what?

    • Yes, she cohabits with that god among men, Greg Davies. But Liz Kendall was a Special Adviser to Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt. I think that you all know what I am talking about. And she is not sound on opposition to the NHS privatisation that is going to take off like a rocket during this Parliament.

  • Jack

    As a Blairite, Liz Kendall is another waste of time.

    Blairites get hot under the collar when it’s pointed out that their right wing ideas are not the centre ground at all and the damage they do to the whole of society by
    giving even more extreme right wing views the slightest credence is massive. It was always my impression that Labour was a Socialist Party so if Blairites disagree, they should shove off and join the Tories or start their own party, not try and subvert the very reason that Labour was formed in the first place, i.e. to promote fairness and justice for all by preventing the take over of the people’s assets by the sharks and the privileged.

    You cannot pander to corporate power and greed by trying to be just a little bit like
    them, because their motives are totally different. They have the power of the media which they own and make good use of to get their own way. The majority of people are too busy trying to make their way in life to get too involved in the ins and outs of politics, therefore naturally, most of the information they get is fed to them rather than them doing any research to make an informed choice. A strong and decisive leader with a vision is therefore essential, someone who can cut to the chase and clearly and roundly defeat arguments designed to distract from the core issues.

    Blairites say that one of the reasons Labour lost was because Ed Miliband was too left wing, nonsense, the public was TOLD he was too left wing by the Tories, then the right wing media reinforced it with nothing more than baseless assertions and gimmicky stunts.

    I get the impression now that the Blairites are suggesting that Labour should appeal to the public’s greed and self interest rather than their better nature. I seem to remember someone else doing that who didn’t believe in society but more in the
    Ayn Rand view that selfishness is the best motivator.

    • Marco

      Reading your nonsense it’s almost as though last week’s election didn’t happen…

      • Jack

        I’m painfully aware of why it happened – because of people like you!

        • Marco

          Yes, I switched to the Tories. And so did millions more. Wonder why that was, eh? We didn’t do it for giggles.

          • RegisteredHere

            Plenty of people were fed up with Nu-Labour, but voting Tory instead is just choosing Kang over Kodos.

          • Jack

            No, you did it for spite, which will harm others, stay with the Nasty Party it’s your natural home.

          • Pete

            Since 1970 the Conservative vote in this country has fluctuated between 31% (’97) and 46% (’70); the Labour vote has fluctuated between 28% (’83) and 44% (’97) in the same period. That means that an absolutely enormous number of people have alternated between voting left and right in this country. Ultimately, elections are not won on the support of ideologues – they are won by persuading moderate swing voters that our vision is best for the country. In case you haven’t noticed, 44.8% of the population voted for one of the Coalition parties. 51.0% voted for a firmly right wing, conservative party (Tory + UKIP + DUP + UUP).

            Labour, and the left as a whole, cannot win the next election without attracting supporters who voted for right wing parties in 2015. That doesn’t mean becoming a right wing party – but it does mean convincing them that our vision is the better one for the country. If we told everyone who voted Tory to just “stay with the nasty party”, we’d be looking at a lifetime of Conservative majority government. We have to engage with, not shun, the people who turned Tory between 1997 and 2015.

          • Jack

            I don’t need a lecture, there is a difference between voting for a party not fully understanding its policies and voting for that party knowing full well the harm it will do.

          • Marco

            Wow. What contempt you have for your fellow citizens. At some point you’ll have to try and get over that. Labour can’t afford to waste time with stupid ideas like this – all you do with this sort of nonsense is obstruct the thinking, debating and rebuilding that needs to happen.

          • Jack

            I have contempt for anyone who inflicts harm on others for their own self gratification and you wonder why Blairites are disliked, yes, the Nasty Party suits you down to the ground.

          • Marco

            I want Labour in the centre rather than harking back to the 70s. So I voted to help make that happen.

          • Jack

            So let me see if I can understand your twisted logic. Because you have moved so far to the right you now think that Labour is not in the centre, so in an act of spite you voted Tory to try and teach Labour a lesson? You didn’t care that as a result of your action and that of others like you, until Labour comes around to your way of thinking, thousands of the less well off will suffer at the hands of the Tories and in five years or less, the NHS will be devastated. How incredibly selfish.

          • Marco

            It’s not about me. Look at the election result and reflect a little. Do you really think you live in a nation of selfish bastards, or do think there might be something more to it than that? On second thoughts, don’t answer that. I think I can guess what your view is…

          • Jack

            It is about you and people like you, not only are you selfish, you’re also ignorant. Stay with the Tories, a match made in hell.

          • Marco

            Well I’m a member of the Labour Party and I’ll be voting in the leadership election and looking forward to it.

          • Michael Murray

            Our fellow citizens will soon discover their mistake.

          • Dave Postles

            Smith restored at DWP and £10bn of unidentified cuts to be made from DWP budget (about 14% after the pensioners’ benefits are preserved) regardless of a projected £2bn of economies by not inflation-proofing (and we cannot expect the current deflationary status to extend for too long, given the expectation of rises in interest rates some time in the next year). I sincerely hope that you can all live with your consciences. Personally, I find it completely depressing that people cannot empathize with the condition of the poorest and most vulnerable.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Ditto. I feel ashamed at what the British have become. Once we had morals and decency which seem these days to have been eclipsed by mortgages and bank loans.

            Eeek.

          • canalboat

            That is the problem with people who are so wrapped up with the cause that they see no flaws. Comments like being ashamed of the electorate, they will soon discover their mistake and they didn’t understand our message are so wide of the mark as to be laughable.

          • Monkey_Bach

            I’m not a member of the Labour Party and didn’t mention the electorate. To me a degenerate media-driven Labour Party is as much an element in the cause of societal problems as the Conservative Party. Neither organisation, as far as I can see, represent solutions to the problem.

            Eeek.

          • Dave Postles

            To have Smith restored at DWP? Your luck is in.

          • Marco

            Oh yes, how I love the bedroom tax. Made me really happy to vote for that. Yes indeed.
            For god’s sake, grow up. You’re part of the reason Labour is in such a mess with your student union politics. Things are complicated. If you can’t see that, go join the Socialist Workers.

          • Dave Postles

            But you did vote for it and the £12bn of cuts in welfare.

          • Marco

            We all weigh up the good and the bad and make our choices. If you voted Labour you voted for weak foreign policy, incompetent leadership, poor economic policy, schools that won’t improve and that prioritise teachers’ interests over pupils and parents, nodding through gender segregation at public meetings, an anti-business rhetoric that would have stymied the growing economy….

          • Dave Postles

            If that were the case, I’d still vote against £12bn of cuts to welfare and the spare room subsidy. I don’t accept that was the case though. The case of pointing out that some businesses are ‘predatory’ actually needs to be emphasized. The economy is stagnating; even the French economy is accelerating faster than the UK in the last quarter. Teachers and educationalists should be trusted, not vilified. If anyone is autocratically changing education, it is Gove and Morgan, neither of whom has any educational background. Parents can influence educational policy locally by PTAs and governorship without diktat from the centre. The economic policy was costed in detail by comparison with the uncosted proffers of the Tories. As for foreign policy, it has just stirred up a hornets’ nest.

          • Marco

            It’s a shame so many people voted the wrong way. We should have asked you before we made our little cross.

          • Cantabs

            Why did you switch?

          • Marco

            Good question. I decided around the time of the Syria vote that Ed was not ready to lead – his cynicism about that vote I found appalling and depressing. I found Ed’s giveaways – freezing bills, rent controls – all really backwards and foolish. Ed’s anti-business attitude is a problem, and felt he was just selling a negative, poorly thought through vision of the UK that I didn’t recognise. I have little money, I don’t own my own house, and life, frankly, can be pretty tough. But I didn’t see my world, or that of my neighbours and friends, in Ed’s relentlessly downbeat, cynical vision. Finally, I think Ed’s use of the NHS in this campaign was truly shameful. Fear mongering at its worst. I voted Tory because it was the lesser of two unsatisfactory choices. Ed’s total lack of foreign policy nous was the thing that finally swung it – I just don’t have confidence in his ability to lead under pressure. For all Cameron’s appalling faults – and I voted Tory with absolutely NO sense of joy – Cameron is able to do the big foreign policy stuff pretty well, and that matters right now. One more reason -and it may sound perverse – but I voted Tory because I want to vote Labour again in the future and the only way for Labour to regenerate, to grow once again into a party capable of winning a majority, is to get rid of Ed. So I voted Tory in a Tory/Labour marginal. That’s the most honest answer I can give to your question.

          • canalboat

            Be careful Marco. Being honest on this forum just provokes bile from those who cling to their socialist ideaology above all else and consequently will keep Labour in opposition forever

          • Monkey_Bach

            Marco isn’t honest, he’s a ranter of the worst kind, most times clueless about the very thing (or things) he bleats about.

            All heat and no light.

            Nobody cares.

            Eeek.

          • canalboat

            Accusing anyone of being a ranter on here is like saying the pope is a catholic. It seems to go with the territory

          • Monkey_Bach

            In 2010 the Conservatives won 36.1% (10,703,654) of the vote whereas in 2015 they won 36.9% (11,334,576), i.e., the Tories enjoyed a mere 0.8% swing towards them in the ballot. In raw numeric terms “millions” more people did not vote Tory only 630,922 more people did; unfortunately they did so in crucial constituencies when Liberal Democrat support collapsed and UKIP, Green and SNP support swelled.

            Get your facts right.

            Eeek.

        • Matthew Blott

          I was at a family Christening today and to my alarm family members who hadn’t voted Tory before told me they had. And they don’t read rightwing tabloids. These people can be won back but not by insulting them or burying your head in the sand.

          • Jack

            I don’t believe I’ve insulted anyone, but for the sake of argument let’s assume I have done but judging by what you said, your family members probably don’t read Labourlist, therefore they won’t know unless you tell them so keep it quiet.

            However, anyone who voted Tory and especially some of those reprobates commenting here who are aware of the harm the Nasty Party is doing to the less fortunate, fully deserve the odd insult. I’m sure their sensibilities can accept it since they can also ignore the plight of others.

          • Michael Murray

            But are they worth winning back if in order to do so we have to sacrifice our socialist principles and become Tories?

          • Matthew Blott

            I’d certainly like working class guys who have done well for themselves to vote for us but you may disagree.

          • Dave Postles

            We did, after much prevarication – unless you mean the avaricious, greedy bastards who don’t care about anyone else.

          • juwivive

            Gosh, it’s like 1983 all over again.

          • Cantabs

            Did they give their reasons? That would be interesting to know.

          • Matthew Blott

            Economy. Economy. Economy.

          • Cantabs

            Well, good news for Labour in one way, then. Labour’s stewardship of the economy will be less of an issue in 2020 as Labour will have been a decade out of power, and memories (even false ones) will have faded.

          • Matthew Blott

            It will still be an issue if we think caring about the NHS trumps economic competence.

          • Dave Postles

            May I suggest that what is at issue is only the perception of economic competence. It’s just a perception. It will be hard to dispel given the nature of the media commentariat who hardly questioned Osborne’s ‘long-term plan’ and certainly did not refer to the diagnosis of the macro-economists. It’s partly Labour’s fault, of course, for not being more confident in, for example, alluding to the consensus of opinion of the economic experts rather than the newspaper hacks who know little.

          • Matthew Blott

            I agree it was more perception than reality. And the media climate was / is hostile. But Miliband clearly lacked the character or will to own the economic argument.

          • Jeremy Cohen

            “Do you remember the winter of discontent ?” Still had mileage ten years later.

          • Agree but there is not much evidence that Labour lost the election because former or potential voters voted Tory. They clearly voted for UKIP in large numbers in marginal seats and also for the Greens. The Labour percentage of the vote still went up in England.

          • Dave Postles

            Apparently by 3.6%.

          • Michael Murray

            Yes. It was a de facto referendum on Europe and we lost.

      • Doug Smith

        You only have to look at what’s happened north of the border to see the New Labour legacy.

        • Marco

          I think Ed helped out too…

      • Porker on the beach

        No point if the Labour party becomes Tory…we have the real thing.

        • Marco

          The world has moved on. Globalised UK has no need of old socialist Labour, as you were just told by the electorate.

          • Porker on the beach

            Depends on what you heard. I heard that the urban LibDems are finished because they worked with the Tories, I heard Scotland has shifted substantially left, I heard the Greens kept most of their deposits, I heard the main cities of England are becoming Labour one party states, I heard the Tories hardly improved on 2010, I heard where they did do well (the small towns), it was the LibDems vote going to them in fear of the SNP, I heard 6 % of the electorate were too ashamed to tell the pollsters they voted Tory….

          • Marco

            What I heard was the results of the election. Labour’s worst result for decades. That’s what I heard. If you pull that cotton wool out of your head you might hear it too…

          • Porker on the beach

            Some fact to support your pointless post may help…..and what facts of mine are DEFINITELY incorrect?

          • Marco

            I’m sure you’re correct in everything you write and think. Completely, 100% right. Totally. Shall I pop that on a big stone for you?

    • Sara_TMS_again

      Look at her voting record and see if you still think she’s a Blairite.

      • Jack

        I’ve listened to what she says and the way she let down Andy Burnham.

        • MikeHomfray

          Yes. She kept trying to water down what was already a watered down policy – we should be challenging the entire wasteful commissioning regime

          • Dave Postles

            Still no publication of the Rose report.

      • Dave Postles

        A Vice-Chair of Progress is usually in the Blairite camp.

    • Matthew Blott

      Another one with Blair Tourettes. Go and lie down.

      • Michael Murray

        That response to Jack’s excellent analysis reveals that you are completely bankrupt of arguments other than the appeal to the narrow minded interests of penny pinching Daily Mail Tories. That’s why the Blairites are anathema and should be vanquished.

        • Matthew Blott

          You’d have loved being an activist in the 80s.

          • Michael Murray

            I was. And I did. Because we had principle and no-one could say they didn’t know what we stood for!

          • Matthew Blott

            And lost badly and the bien pensants felt great even though they weren’t the ones paying the price. And you want to go there again, says it all.

          • Dave Postles

            We all paid the price and partook of the misery. The place where we lived – Pinxton – was devastated by the combination of the closure of the pits and the outsourcing of textile procurement by M&S and its ilk. I worked in Sheffield, another scene of devastation. No sensitive person could ignore the destruction and the calamity visited on decent people. If you think that a Labour Party of any complexion could have prevented that ignominious episode, you are mistaken. What was achieved was the survival of the LP to fight another day, at local level by the ‘dented shield’ strategy. That’s where people like Blunkett and Hodge cut their teeth. Now, you have ZHCs, then people ejected on the scrap heap were dependent on YOP and CP schemes which led nowhere. There was a paradigm shift in the Atlantic world to Thatcher-Reaganism.

          • Michael Murray

            With fixed term parliaments no-one’s going anywhere unless we can erode the Tory majority through by-elections. And if we are the ersatz Tories why should anyone vote for us when they can have the real thing? Only if we are a principled socialist party will they vote for us. They will see vote for us if they see we are the real alternative. If Ed Miliband stood for leadership again tomorrow, I would vote for him.

          • Michael Murray

            We are there again because nothing changes. Under three terms of Blair’s Labour the economic structure stayed the same.

          • Matthew Blott

            I agree and I wish Blair had done more to challenge the orthodoxy. But I’d sure as hell prefer a Blair government to the current one.

        • Marco

          Vanquished? Wow. Do you live in some sort of Arthurian legend? Have you polished your Sword of Righteousness?

    • MikeHomfray

      I just cant see the point in having a Labour party virtually indistinguishable from the Tories

      • Michael Murray

        Absolutely Mike.

  • Duncan Hall

    No thanks 🙁

  • ColinAdkins

    On the grounds of diversity we should have someone apart from an Oxbridge graduate.

    • Pete

      Whilst I agree Colin that Oxbridge graduates are horrendously and alarmingly over-represented in the party and politics at large, Liz’s background doesn’t seem to be the stereotypical Oxbridge-to-politics either. History student rather than PPE, worked for the Ambulance Services Network and the Maternity Alliance, and worked as a researcher for the King’s Fund and the health/social care division of IPPR. Member of the Fabians and Co-op Party, no shareholding assets, no land, no private business on the side. As an MP and frontbencher her priorities have followed the areas she has passion for and expertise in. She obviously has a very real and authentic passion for improving health and social care, and for Labour values.

      • ColinAdkins

        Didn’t she work as a SpAd for Patricia Hewitt also? In the past the trade unions supplied able researchers, officers and organisers who were connected to organised labour. The rise of bodies like the IPPR paralleled the decline in tu influence. Indeed the latter was promoted by the former in order to increase their own influence. Now we wonder why there is a disconnect between the Party and working people. Sorry 25% on MPs for institutions which probably educated less than 0.01% of the voting age population is 24% too many for me. In the same way men had to step aside to allow more women to take their place in the Party we need to shove the Oxbridge lodge out to allow the other talents to flourish. You know a lot about Liz declare your interest.

        • RogerMcC

          I know as much as he does about her from 5 minutes googling (try it).

          • Dave Postles

            DuckDuckGo or StartPage avoid patronizing tax avoiders and tracking (try them).

          • ColinAdkins

            Duh and I used to be a research officer for a trade union! Why is she apparently missing the Hewitt gig?

        • Pete

          She did Colin, but Hewitt was Secretary of State for Health at the time I’m fairly sure (might be wrong on that because I don’t know the dates). If I’m right, given her work for health charities and the ambulance services and a researcher for the King’s Trust, before her political career, I’d say that makes her a pretty qualified adviser – not just another political appointee. Advisers are not in and of themselves bad things, nor should the union movement – which has its own problems with representation and meritocracy – be the only source of them.

          As for my “interest”, I can honestly say I’ve never met the woman in my life. First heard of her in March on this very website and didn’t even register her as a leadership contender. But after seeing her interview, I did some research and I’ve been thoroughly impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Just look at her website and google her; I’ve no special knowledge.

          One of the things I liked most was that she spoke to Usdaw about the need for unions to expand beyond their current base and look to workers who have been thought as being unorganisable and disinterested in unionisation, and is on the record as being an enormous supporter of the union link.

          I really like Andy Burnham as an individual, but don’t feel he’s the right leader for us (though I backed him in 2010); likewise with Yvette. Chuka I’m none too keen on ever since the whole trash-gate scandal. Dan Jarvis I’m waiting to see more from. For the moment, Liz seems the best candidate to me.

          • ColinAdkins

            Thanks. I can judge Kendall from her appearances on QT. She is moderately good with Caroline Flint, Chuka and Rachel Reeves being the start performers as far as I am concerned. She does have the positive advantage of speaking human. However to paraphrase Mrs Merton what was it about Cambridge educated Kendall which got her the jobs at the IPPR/King’s Fund? Sorry accuse me of being a bit chippy if you like but I think the Oxbridge lodge is too dominant in many walks of life (e.g. the BBC). Time for conscious action to rebalance in my view. Anyway I think we need to delay the leadership election and appoint a caretaker.

    • Jimmy Sands

      Yes, we need someone who couldn’t get in.

      • ColinAdkins

        Until people are not selected merely on the grounds they went to Oxbridge I will attempt a mere rebalancing act. I guess you believe all the brightest and best aspire to go to Oxbridge but I beg to differ.

        • Jimmy Sands

          I don’t. But many do. We have in fact had several non Oxbridge leaders. Starting with the most recent:

          Brown
          Smith
          Kinnock
          Callaghan
          Lansbury
          Henderson
          McDonald
          Clynes
          Adamson
          Barnes

          Of these only McDonald ever won an election.

          Now the Oxbridge list

          Miliband
          Blair
          Foot
          Wilson
          Gaitskell
          Attlee

          Pretty much all our winners there.

          I’m not saying it’s a necessity, but a rule which would have disqualified every successful leader we ever had is preposterous.

  • Pete

    I was really impressed with Liz’s performance – both style and substance. She seems to show a keen awareness that the right and moderate wings of the party absolutely do need to move on from the days of Tony Blair and become radical again, but I also have a feeling that she’s very willing to embrace what the left of the party has to offer. This is a woman who has spoken out about the desperate need of the trade union movement to expand its base into sectors and workforces that orthodoxy holds are unorganisable; and she’s made the case for how crucial it is that business learns to respect and invest not only in its workforce, but in wider society.

    I think classing her as a Blairite – in that disparaging way that implies she may as well be a Tory, as we so often do these days – is really quite unfair and unreasonable. Read her speech to USDAW in February (available in the New Statesman); there’s nothing “Tory-lite” about it. She strikes me as someone who is on the moderate wing of the party because of a very sincere social democratic heart; someone who’ll make the case for an inclusive, modern Labour Party that harnesses talent from across our own internal ideological spectrum. It’s a long road ahead and I’m withholding final judgement until we get more detail in the coming weeks and months but at the moment, she’s definitely my early favourite to win.

    • Dave Postles

      ‘This is a woman who has spoken out about the desperate need of the trade
      union movement to expand its base into sectors and workforces that
      orthodoxy holds are unorganisable;…’
      Never heard of Unite Community? USDAW and Unite have many members in retail jobs.

  • swatnan

    Kendal hasn’t the gravitas or that extra bite; compare her to Nicola Sturgeon .But Caroline Flint has;, and Cooper is too cold and distant.

    • Sara_TMS_again

      Caroline Flint has gravitas?

      • swatnan

        She has; she has stature, and carries her frame around like a real leader, not a tea lady.

        • RogerMcC

          Weird and I must say rather creepy and sexist way to put it…

          How do real leaders ‘carry their frames’ around then?

          Did Attlee, Gaitskell, Wilson, Callaghan, Foot, Kinnock, Smith, Blair, Brown and Miliband all share some sort of gait that would have instantly identified them as set apart from the common herd even if they had disguised themselves as tea ladies?

          And perhaps our candidates for leader should all hasten to New Delhi to take style and deportment lessons from the Butcher of Gujarat (certainly a rather dapper dresser once you’ve removed all the bloodstains) for whom I seem to remember you have a special regard?

          • swatnan

            First Impressions matter to an electorate that generally has the attention span of a gnat. Attlee had plenty to be modest about; Gaitskill Wilson and Callaghan exuded quiet confidence; Kinnock brash boyo; Blair all the confidence of a posh public school boy; Foot Worsel Gummidge sums him up quite nicely; Smith a small time solicitor, Brown a bag of nerves; and Milliband always the tea boy. I think we need to submit our Labour leaders to a psychometric personality test before we entrust them with any modicum of power.
            Getting back to Liz though, I see her as just EdM in a skirt,not very complementary but I don’t want to go through 5 more years of a Leader that is unelectable.

          • Brumanuensis

            “Attlee had plenty to be modest about”

            Really? Why? Or is this another use of that ‘quotation’ from Churchill, that Churchill spent most of his life strongly denying he’d ever said.

            “I think we need to submit our Labour leaders to a psychometric personality test before we entrust them with any modicum of power”.

            Which one? They’re all seriously flawed, so the value of such a gesture would be pretty limited.

  • Hadrian

    A very talented person but yet another candidate with no real world work experience. Her entire working life has been spent working with think tanks and/or as a special adviser. We so desperately need people with a world view shaped by having worked in the real world.

    • new_number_2

      Exactly. Andy Burnham also is the definition of a career politician. He joined the Labour party at 14 and worked his way up the ranks as a bag carrier and special adviser. In fact none of the names linked with the leadership are particularly impressive.

      • Dave Postles

        ‘He joined the Labour party at 14’
        Great commitment and resoluteness.

    • Matthew Blott

      A fair chunk of them come up through the spad route now, if that’s a disqualification for standing for the leadership the pool will be pretty small.

  • Marco

    Interesting start from Liz Kendall. She can certainly communicate well. The question is…what does she believe in? What would she do? I’m looking forward to finding out.

  • Sophie Edward

    Who? Never heard of her until today. remain to be convinced that she is anything other than in the same Milibands / Burnham and for that matter Cameron mould of never having done a proper job but worked up through the party. Where are the people who have done something and then gone into politics?

  • NT86

    I remember not being overly impressed by her in a couple of Question Time appearances circa 2013/14, but that Neill interview is very fluent and confident. Let’s see how she progresses, as she could be one to watch!

    Not sure about Burnham and Cooper at this stage, as they both have past baggage which could be brought up against them. When Cameron became Conservative leader in 2005, he was a relatively unfamiliar face (although I think he was shadow education secretary for a few months) and no real political baggage other than being Norman Lamont’s former special adviser.

    No way to Umunna and Hunt though. Not likeable and seem quite out of touch with the the kinds of English voters who Labour failed to win over on Thursday.

    Shame Dan Jarvis has ruled himself out.

    • leslie48

      Burnham too left wing for many voters and will be crucified by Mail, Sun, Times, Telegraph and Express. The unions puppet I can see the headlines now. Tory Lapdog BBC will play same game.

  • greenwich

    Please please please, God, let Lucy Powell stand. In times of austerity we all need to laugh.

    • Ian

      Could be a great double act with Rachael Reeves.

  • Dave Postles

    A leader of the future is Keir Starmer.

    • Jack

      He intrigues me, I’d love to hear him speak a bit more about how he sees the way forward.

  • Dave Postles

    All the media refer to her as Blairite. I would imagine that, as an acolyte of Hewitt (SPAD and then Hewitt’s seat) she is a Blairite. Is she not a Vice-Chair of Progress? She provided ammunition for Hunt (J.) with her interview for House magazine in January, contradicting Burnham on private provision in the health service. Still, it’s your party.

  • Malatesta!

    Labour needs someone like Ian Mearns or John McDonnell to at least stand for leader and articulate their ideas.

  • Matthew Blott

    Just watched after someone on Five Live said how wooden she was and how good Umunna was earlier (haven’t seen that yet). I was pleasantly surprised, she was very polished. I can’t decide between her and Umunna …

    • Malatesta!

      Two candidates who have the unique combination of being right wing enough to alienate the base and unpalatable to to centrist voters.

      You think a man named Chuka Umunna is going to win back votes from UKIP? Or that a smooth, privately educated City lawyer from London is going to win back seats in Scotland and stop more northern voters defecting to UKIP?

      • Matthew Blott

        I see what you did there – because he has a funny sounding name the racists in Ukip won’t vote for him. And yet I bet you’d be the first to say we pandering to racists if we had a tougher immigration line.

        • Malatesta!

          I’m agnostic on the immigration issue, I don’t think we need to be “tough”, but maybe Labour did mismanage it in office.

          But if millions of Labour voters are defecting to a party that is essentially campaigns on nothing but leaving the EU and reducing immigration, choosing Chuka seems to be playing in to their hands.

          Maybe I’m too pessimistic, but I think a lot of us move in liberal circles and would be surprised by how many people are still racist. Before the rise of UKIP, the BNP got a lot of votes, and the Front National seem to be doing well in France.

    • Jack

      I’m sure they’ll both be on tenterhooks waiting for you to decide!

      • Matthew Blott

        This is the comments section which presumably is to invite feedback. I gave my opinion. Was there any need for your spiteful remark?

        • Jack

          You’ve just revealed something extremely interesting about the way you think. I admit my remark was sarcastic but in no way was it spiteful yet anyone who has seen your comments will note that they are often sarcastic. If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Hope that didn’t hurt too much!

    • leslie48

      Umunna is not leader of the opposition material- another clone. Never saw him once on election TV.

      • Matthew Blott

        Rumour was he’d been sidelined.

  • Cantabs

    I saw her on Andrew Neil’s Sunday Politics. She’s not even remotely prime ministerial material. Despite our distaste for a presidential-style beauty contest, this week’s Economist says 71% of admitted Tory voters cited the fact that Cameron LOOKS more like a prime minister than Ed Miliband. Liz Kendall really doesn’t, not even remotely. I can’t imagine what she’s thinking.

  • Markham Weavill

    It doesn’t matter who the leader is if the policies are rubbish. All the suggested candidates lack the depth of experience to change tack. All I can see is five years of misery for Labour as they thrash about trying to find policies that appeal to the Scots, the old working classes and the new upwardly mobile suburbanites. The Labour party is a broad church but that might be a struggle too far.

  • David Callam

    It would help if Labour’s disappointed lefties would now stop banging on about NHS privatisation. It wasn’t true before the election, it isn’t true now; and judging by the result of the poll, the electorate was totally unmoved by Andy Burnham’s scare stories. British Airways, British Gas, British Telecom and, more recently, Royal Mail were privatised: the NHS has outsourced a modest proportion of its services, nothing more. If the new managers don’t perform well they can be replaced: a huge improvement on the existing system, where managers have a job for life with shortcomings quietly buried, along with the patients who were their victims.

    • Brumanuensis

      “the NHS has outsourced a modest proportion of its services, nothing more. If the new managers don’t perform well they can be replaced”

      Just like Serco and G4S were replaced after their previous screw-ups. Oh wait…

      “a huge improvement on the existing system, where managers have a job for life”

      [citation needed]

      • David Callam

        I’m not going to defend the shortcomings of G4S or Serco: rather I would criticise the public servants who re-appointed them after their initial poor showing.
        Any kind of successful outsourcing needs vigilance to ensure it is being done properly. So many public servants have proved themselves totally unfit for such tasks.
        As for the citation you request, try Stafford Hospital, where patients died because public servants were too keen on meeting administrative targets. Nobody has yet been charged, or even dismissed!

        • Brumanuensis

          “As for the citation you request, try Stafford Hospital, where patients died because public servants were too keen on meeting administrative targets. Nobody has yet been charged, or even dismissed!”

          First of all, the evidence that patients died because of poor treatment is not very certain. There was undoubtedly unacceptably poor treatment of numerous patients, but Robert Francis QC explicitly rejected any ‘death toll’ in his report and noted that extrapolating any such figure from the available statistical evidence was not a useful exercise. There’s too much statistical ‘noise’ and fuzziness in the available data to determine anything. A case-note review carried out afterwards didn’t find any deaths that could be proven to have stemmed from poor care.

          It also doesn’t help that reports on Mid-Staffs still contain dubious yet lurid claims, like those that patients drank out of flower vases. On that very point, Francis himself noted:

          ““As it happened I did not hear any direct evidence about any incident involving vases. Such an incident is not directly reported in the Healthcare Commission report. I am therefore unable to express a conclusion about whether this occurred or not.”

          Not that you’d know from reporting on the topic.

          Second, claiming ‘nobody has yet been charged, or even dismissed, is incorrect’.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-23450764

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-24174040

          The staff implicated in the scandal were, where they weren’t dismissed, often held to be following lawful instructions or acting according to the guidance they’d been given. The fault at Mid Staffs was rigid and inappropriate targets being imposed by government and management, which led to patient care being systematically neglected in certain areas.

          Outsourcing, which is heavily target-oriented, will in no way prevent these types of problems and indeed the incentives-structure of most outsourcing contracts will run the risk of leading to re-runs of Mid Staffs. Outsourcing cleaning in the NHS was correlated with an increase in hospital infections.

          http://gala.gre.ac.uk/8084/

          http://www.practical-patient-care.com/features/featurecourting-controversy-outsourcing-nhs-cleaning-services-4264001/

          http://www.healthcare-in-europe.com/en/article/12177-Out-sourcing_hospital_services.html

          • David Callam

            We’re not going to agree on this.
            Apart from other things your citations are a bit suspect. A report on outsourcing of health services that quotes Unison, a trade union with a direct interest in the subject. Hardly a neutral contribution is it?
            And you quote the punishment of three nurses at North Staffs. Big deal. No managers, just the poor bloody infantry: overworked, badly managed and blamed when things go wrong.
            We need a different approach and properly supervised sub-contractors seem to me to be a promising way forward. Unscheduled visits by independent inspectors would provide far higher levels of public confidence than the present cosy arrangement where hospital management is given notice of inspections by an organisation with form for missing or ignoring shortcomings.

          • Brumanuensis

            “Apart from other things your citations are a bit suspect. A report on outsourcing of health services that quotes Unison, a trade union with a direct interest in the subject. Hardly a neutral contribution is it?”

            I note you’ve ignored the University of Surrey report and zeroed in on UNISON. Are UNISON to be automatically disbelieved?

            “And you quote the punishment of three nurses at North Staffs. Big deal. No managers, just the poor bloody infantry: overworked, badly managed and blamed when things go wrong”.

            And how is contracting out going to increase the incidence of criminal sanctions? You can’t punish people without them breaking the law and incompetence is not a criminal offence.

            “We need a different approach. Properly supervised sub-contractors seem to me to be a promising way forward.”

            And yet so far the results are pretty dismal.

            “Unscheduled visits by independent inspectors would provide far higher levels of public confidence than the present cosy arrangement where hospital management is given notice of inspections by an organisation with form for missing or ignoring shortcomings”.

            The CQC is already implementing those sorts of changes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23348824

          • David Callam

            The CQC appeared on the Radio 4 Today Programme this morning, desperately trying to explain why it had not closed down contractors who instructed staff to leave elderly patients on the floor and call an ambulance before going on to their next job.
            Proper supervision includes draconian sanctions written into the agreement for breach of contract. This is not a recipe for care on the cheap, but it will be more cost-effective than the present secretive system which is now 70 years out of date and showing its age badly.

          • Brumanuensis

            No private contractor is going to accept the sort of terms that you are proposing; they would risk commercial ruin. That’s the fundamental flaw in your approach. And if contractors are currently engaging in the kinds of behaviours you describe, I don’t see how that acts an inducement to contract out even more services.

          • David Callam

            The key is money. Contractors will happily accept the terms if the rewards are sufficiently attractive. The problem is government, national and local. Successive Westminster governments have seen elderly care as a low priority because they believe most voters don’t care very much about it. Local authorities have made the problem worse by driving down charges even further. In health and elderly care, like everything else, you get what you pay for. You cannot have Scandinavian levels of care with United States levels of taxation.
            That said, the private sector is generally better focused on providing a good service at a reasonable cost because it has more experience of doing so. Publicly managed services had no idea how much things cost until comparatively recently and are still struggling to change their spendthrift ways, in many cases.
            There is absolutely no reason why a national health service has to be publicly run in order to be free at the point of use; it just needsrealistic levels of funding to be cost-effectively managed

          • Brumanuensis

            “The key is money. Contractors will happily accept the terms if the rewards are sufficiently attractive”

            But that’s precisely the problem. The cost-savings from contracting out are invariably attained through worsening work conditions and pay for employees. In the area of hospital cleaning, that’s had disastrous consequences. And if contractors are going to demand a premium for draconian penalty clauses – which they will – then the costs could end up exceeding keeping it in-house.

            “Successive Westminster governments have seen elderly care as a low priority because they believe most voters don’t care very much about it. Local authorities have made the problem worse by driving down charges even further. In health and elderly care, like everything else, you get what you pay for. You cannot have Scandinavian levels of care with United States levels of taxation”.

            Very true. But I don’t see why contracting-out is required to solve the problem.

            “That said, the private sector is generally better focused on providing a good service at a reasonable cost because it has more experience of doing so. Publicly managed services had no idea how much things cost until comparatively recently and are still struggling to change their spendthrift ways, in many cases. There is absolutely no reason why a national health service has to be publicly run in order to be free at the point of use; it just needsrealistic levels of funding to be cost-effectively managed”

            Sorry, but this is prejudice, not fact. Economic theory and practice both demonstrate that in health-care markets, public providers are usually more efficient than private ones. See Kenneth Arrow’s famous paper on the subject:

            https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/top20/53.5.941-973.pdf

          • David Callam

            Is this really the best you can put forward as justification for your view: a report published more than 50 years ago that centres on an American health system that is, by common consent, among the least efficient internationally?

          • Brumanuensis

            Arrow’s paper is one of the most frequently-cited and important papers on the economics of health-care ever published. Not to mention the man himself was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics and is widely held to be one of the greatest economists of the twentieth-century. He is the man who proved that capitalism works, after all:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow–Debreu_model

            Arrow’s point was that the private sector was relatively inefficient and providing healthcare. The superior efficiency of government-run healthcare systems, relative to the expensive and largely private American system, proves his point, not rebuts it.

          • David Callam

            Frequently cited by whom precisely?
            No matter how relevant in its day, the report is now half a century out of date. In that time health management has changed out of all recognition. The report may offer a snapshot of things as they were in America in the early 1960s, but it cannot be used to assess today’s requirements, particularly in Europe where the approach to healthcare is significantly different.

          • Brumanuensis

            “Frequently cited by whom precisely?”

            Virtually every single economist working in health-care policy. It’s one of the most cited papers in post-war economics – 6,442 peer-reviewed papers have cited it since it was first published. It’s been described as the foundation stone for the whole field of health economics ( http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0042-96862004000200012 )

            “No matter how relevant in its day, the report is now half a century out of date. In that time health management has changed out of all recognition. The report may offer a snapshot of things as they were in America in the early 1960s, but it cannot be used to assess today’s requirements, particularly in Europe where the approach to healthcare is significantly different”.

            You’re missing the point. Arrow wasn’t analysing the American health-care market, but the health-care market full stop. Economic analyses don’t go out of service simply through elapse of time. Keynes has not ceased to be relevant because the General Theory was published in the 1930s. Friedman has not ceased to be relevant because much of his major work was published in the 1960s and ’70s. It’s not a time-limited study of contemporary health-care markets.

            “Just one area in which the private sector wins hands down: health needs long-term planning, government thinks in Parliaments at the longest. The present government has promised a minimal increase in the health service budget year on year, less than health service inflation, a sticking plaster, nothing more. There is no attempt to create and then to deliver a ten or 20 year investment plan, which government cannot guarantee but the private sector could”.

            The private sector is every bit as riddled with short-termism as the public sector. Private sector entities need to make a profit and if they are publicly-traded, they need to demonstrate profitability to their share-holders. The overheads for private firms are higher, because their borrowing costs are higher and their outlays on market-expansion activities – like advertising – make their administrative costs higher than public-sector bodies. Factors influencing the long-term cost of health-care, such as demographics and the ever escalating cost of health-care technology, are affecting private-sector providers in exactly the same way as public ones. There is no efficiency premium for the private sector as a whole, relative to the public sector. Here’s Krugman making that point – and referencing Arrow too, by-the-by – ( http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/?_r=0 ).

          • David Callam

            So let me be clear. You are saying that both Conservative and Labour administrations are wrong to advocate outsourcing of health, welfare and other services on the basis of a 50-year-old United States’ report that is not being cited by anyone else in the current debate about the future of the NHS.

          • Brumanuensis

            David, if you’re going to be deliberately obtuse, there’s not much to discuss.

            No, I am not saying that any private or voluntary involvement in the NHS is wrong. I’m pointing out that contracting out has significant risks and doesn’t result in many of the benefits its proponents claim it has.

            If you want to sneer at Kenneth Arrow’s paper, that’s your problem. It is, as I can tell you from having studied this field of economics, an extremely well-known paper within the economics and social policy professions. It’s conclusions are almost universally endorsed by health economists. The central theoretical point that Arrow made – that public provision in healthcare was often intrinsically more efficient – is one that has been proven via empirical evidence over and over again.

            If you want more evidence of the importance of Arrow’s work, you might want to have a read-through of this article by Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt, from a few years ago.

            http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/is-health-care-special/

  • Kev

    No thanks. Next!

    • leslie48

      Who is she anyway?

  • PATRICKNEWMAN

    She is a competent forward in the political championship league, but…..!

  • I did not know who she was until yesterday. Too many of the shadow cabinet make any impression at all.

    • leslie48

      Like the one who lost his seat in Scotland – during the Syrian conflict never heard him say anything. No presence on TV, long-winded sentences that had me day dreaming.

  • M2

    Surprisingly eloquent when freed from the shackle of the “party message”

  • There’s much debate about ‘career politicians’ versus those with ‘work-life’ experience. It seems to me there are pros and cons for both but I wonder if it would be such an issue at all if it hadn’t been spun by the media?
    A career politician would certainly be better equipped for the cut and thrust of Westminster and at the same time, someone with previous outside experience runs the risk of being labelled too old. The bottom line is, if the media want to ‘rubbish’ you, they will. Don’t fall into the trap of playing the same game.
    The question is do we choose a leader to direct the Party or do we establish a direction and then choose someone to lead it?

  • leslie48

    After 5 or more years hardly ever heard of her or seen her. Not a good start. The next leader must have charisma.

  • Kev

    ha exactly!

  • wolfman

    Wow what a depressing thread to read…..Both wings of the party hammering eachother and doing the Tories job for them. Fact is to win we are going to need both wings of the party whether people like it or not !!!!!

    We are going to have to look and sound more competent on the economy, be a party of aspiration and innovation !!. No doubt about that…. We need those compassionate types that gave the Tories the benefit of the doubt in 2010/15 when they used to give Blair that nod. However we are also going to have to remember that we both leaked too many left wing voters to UKIP in too many marginals, many stayed at home because they are still not convinced we care….

    I don’t think we can win elections on the left anymore..Britain has changed…. However we certainly can’t win elections by deserting our loyal left vote.

    This thread just goes to show that the next leader has an enormous task ahead of him/her and I don’t envy it !!!. He/She is going to have to find some common ground between left and right or we’ll just be in opposition forever !!.

    Choose the next leader wisely because I’m sick of all this in fighting…….The Tory party is the enemy and it’s time both wings of the party realise they can’t take they other for granted..

    As for the guy who said he voted Tory on here. However disenchanted I’ve felt with labour in my time…There are things I’d never do and that is one of them !!.

    Come on guys lets start the fight back now.

    Life is all about compromise..

    • Pete

      All very good points. We can’t persuade Britain to vote for a community-oriented, co-operative, fairer Britain if we can’t even deliver that model in our own party.

  • Brumanuensis

    I have no strong views on Elizabeth Kendall. For some reason, everyone else does, which is odd given that she’s given very little reason for anyone to have a strong opinion or any sort of opinion about her at all.

  • Old Radical

    Watched Liz with Gavin Davies. To be honest my heart sunk. Things are too serious to pussy foot around so I am going to be direct. I my opinion she isn’t remotely good enough to lead the party. Even if she was good enough her seat is not bomb proof to “decapitation” by tactical voting Tories/UKIP.

  • Johnny Foreigner

    Liz Kendall didn’t shine in debating with G Davies, she’s saying some of the right things, just not articulating them very well. She’s not very televisual, a bit like the aunty you never bother to go and visit. She comes across as having a backbone and won’t allow herself to be pushed a round either. I’d like to see more of her and hope she has the time to construct a narrative, the public can get behind.

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