Thursday News Review


Miliband vs Miliband: a one family race so far

“The brothers remain the only candidates of the six hopefuls to have secured the required number of nominations from fellow MPs. Members are putting pressure on party chiefs to change the rules to ensure that Labour’s electoral college has a wider choice of candidates.” – The Telegraph

“John McDonnell has got his first confirmed backers in the contest to become the next Labour leader. The backbench MP is being supported by former minister Frank Field and fellow MPs Kate Hoey and Dai Havard.” – The BBC

“The two Milibands are the only candidates so far to secure the 33 nominations from fellow MPs required to get their names on the ballot paper, with Ed Miliband, the shadow energy secretary, passing the threshold first and leading the field until now.” – The Telegraph

“Labour is a coalition of individual members, trade unions and other affiliated socialist societies. At its best it represents a broad church of opinion on the left. We welcome the extension of the nomination period, which now gives MPs the opportunity to consult with their local parties, trade unions and communities.

However, we believe that with six candidates in the race the 12.5% threshold – meaning candidates must secure the backing of 33 MPs – is too onerous.” – Open letter, The Guardian

The campaigns

Abbott: "humbled"

“Andy Burnham yesterday launched his Labour leadership campaign by vowing to “reconnect” the party with its grassroots. The former Health Secretary pitched himself as a contest outsider, standing for people beyond “London and Westminster”. He stressed his Northern roots by kicking off his campaign at a sports centre in his Leigh constituency in Manchester. He said: “People in the North West know me best but I want to reach out to people everywhere. My campaign will have a grassrootsfeel.”” –The Mirror

“Last week I announced that I was prepared to run for the leadership of the Labour party. I have been amazed and humbled by the response of the public. People come up to me in the street and shake my hand. There is a very strong feeling amongst the general public that the political debate at the top of the politics needs to be opened up. They do not want to see only the same old grey men in suits debating the future of our country. So, ordinary people seem to welcome my candidacy.” – Diane Abbott, The Mirror


“At the weekend I attended a Labour Party inquest. It was organised by the modernisers’ faction, Progress. There were a lot of young people there, and some of them were most excited by the novelty of being in opposition. It wears off, you know. As someone who spent most of his formative political years attending leftish inquests into Labour defeats, I have to say that they are all the same and that they are mostly beside the point. A lot of people become animated about electoral reform or impatient to take the fight to the Tories (and in the present case, the addition of the Liberal Democrats to the government seems to have made no difference); while in between sessions all the talk is of nominations and shadow cabinet elections.” – The Independent

“In short, Labour must not allow the coalition to claim liberalism as its own. This need not entail any compromising of its core commitment to social justice. After all, as the great social liberal L T Hobhouse, celebrated by the freethinking MP Jon Cruddas in his essay on page 31, argued a century ago: “The ‘right to work’ and the right to a ‘living wage’ are just as valid as the rights of person or property.”” – The New Statesman

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