Wednesday News Review

Count down

Abbott hoping to make the final cut

“Diane Abbott received a boost to her candidacy for the Labour Party leadership when Harriet Harman, the party’s deputy leader, nominated her yesterday. Ms Harman said she was doing so in the hope of helping to ensure there is a woman on the ballot paper, and will not cast her vote in the election this September.” – The Independent

“Mr Balls, the shadow education secretary, called on supporters to back Miss Abbott during an event held by the GMB trade union, saying that it was important for a woman to be in the race.” – The Telegraph

“BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said the three candidates so far are all Oxford-educated men in their 40s, and none of them are from the party’s left – unlike both Ms Abbott and Mr McDonnell. On Tuesday, acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said she was nominating Ms Abbott because she did not want to see a “men-only” contest.” – The BBC

 “Speaking on Tuesday Mr Burnham said he was confident he would gain the seven nominations he still needed, while Ms Abbott and Mr McDonnell – who failed in a bid to challenge Mr Brown for the party’s leadership in 2007 – did not appear close to a deal to transfer MPs to the other to ensure a left-winger made it on to the ballot.” – In the News

“One of the contenders for the British Labour Party leadership issued a last-minute plea yesterday for the party to change its rules […] John McDonnell, who is struggling to secure the necessary 33 nominations from fellow MPs, said the threshold to take part in the election should be dropped from 12.5 per cent to 5 per cent of the parliamentary party, which equates to 13 MPs.” – The Irish Times

The race

“This year a more sophisticated Labour electorate is looking for a candidate who combines the three virtues of popularity with the party (Kinnock), attraction to floating voters (Blair) and a policy position that is both reasonable and radical.” – Roy Hattersley, The Times

“Ed Miliband last night pledged to hit high-earners by keeping the top rate of tax for people earning more than £150,000-a-year. The 50% rate was meant to give emergency help in the recession and deal with the national debt. But, writing exclusively for the Mirror, the Labour leadership candidate said bankers – who earn in a week what a nurse gets in a year – must realise they need to repay more into the country.” – The Mirror

“The first hurdle in the race for Labour party leadership has seen David Miliband garner significant support from the shadow cabinet.David, Shadow Foreign Secretary, has nominations from Ben Bradshaw, shadow secretary for culture, media, sport and the Olympics; Alistair Darling, shadow chancellor of the exchequer; and Alan Johnson, shadow home secretary.” – The Gulf News

Where is Brown?

“Poor Mr Brown appears to be confronting something much worse than opprobrium, or even sympathy – indifference. What’s Lord Mandelson going to do next? What are the dark lord’s memoirs going to reveal when they’re published this autumn? Which Miliband is which?” – The Telegraph

From the mail bag

“As student and youth activists, we are supporting John McDonnell‘s campaign for leader. New Labour alienated large numbers of young people through its ending of free higher education; its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; its brutal attitude to asylum and civil liberties; and its shallow lip service to environmentalism. We know that genuine left politics must be based on the labour movement. We want a leader who supports student struggles against cuts and fees; who fights for decent jobs for all on a real living wage; and who stands up for civil liberties and migrants’ rights.” Letters, The Guardian

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