It's a "fantasy" that Britain has moved to the left, says potential Labour leader Liz Kendall

Leadership candidate seeks to distance herself from Ed Miliband and the trade unions

LIZ KENDALL has said that Labour must ditch the "fantasy" that Britain has swung to the left, as she backed increased defence spending, free schools and PS9,000 tuition fees.

The second favourite in the race to succeed Ed Miliband made the comments to journalists in a clear sign she wants to be seen as the 'moderniser' in the contest.

The Leicester West MP also hit out at the influence of trade unions in the contest.

Accusing Unite the Union leader Len McCluskey of attempting to "sabotage" the election, she said that the contest "cannot be about who the general secretaries say impresses them the most".

McCluskey had previously warned that Labour should choose the "correct" leader or Unite, which is Labour's biggest backer, may consider reconsidering the link with the party.

Kendall also said that she supported spending at least 2 per cent of national income on defence, a pledge that neither Labour or the Conservatives have previously made.

Commenting that during the coalition government there has been "a quiet diminishing of Britain's role in the world", Kendall affirmed: "Under my leadership, Labour will no longer stand by while the Prime Minister weakens our country and allows the world to become less secure.

"That means insisting that the UK maintains our basic Nato commitment to continue spending 2 per cent on defence."

In a complete rejection of Ed Miliband's policy platform, Kendall also hit out at the plan to freeze energy bills and said that cutting tuition fees would not be a priority for her as leader.

Saying that Labour decided the British public had shifted to the left because they "wished it to be so", Kendall claimed that the party failed to say what was good about its last government.

She continued: "When Labour loses we do one of three things. We decide we didn't win because we weren't leftwing enough: fantasy. We decide we can avoid the really tough decisions because they are too uncomfortable: a fudge. Or we decide that winning is too important."

Andy Burnham is currently bookies favourite to become the next Labour leader. The other candidates in the race are shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh.

Tristam Hunt, who many expected to stand, dropped out of the race and threw his support behind Kendall.

The contest takes four months with the leader set to be announced at a special conference on 12 September.

Picture by daliscar1

Comments

Adrian Simmons

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Fergus Murray (not verified)

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Derek Louden

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Derek Louden

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

pictishbeastie

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

pictishbeastie

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Robin Barclay

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Robin Barclay

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

markryle

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

markryle

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Karen Dietz

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Karen Dietz

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Roisin Murphy

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Roisin Murphy

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

William Steele

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

William Steele

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Steve West

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Steve West

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

DAVID SMART

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

DAVID SMART

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

steve andrews

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

steve andrews

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Bill Fraser

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Bill Fraser

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Andrew Stuart's picture

Andrew Stuart

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Andrew Stuart's picture

Andrew Stuart

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Paul Smith

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Paul Smith

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Jon

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Jon

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Andy Ellis

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Andy Ellis

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

Malki80

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 13:13

She's right. We're mostly still in the centre, Labour have moved right as she so clearly illustrates.

Malki80

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 23:00

Labour are really never coming back if they elect this woman as their leader. Despite all the evidence that the tories who used to vote Blair are quite happy to keep voting for the official Tory party now, she's determined to keep chasing those votes rather than the millions they lost when Blair was in power, who've never voted for them since (and who made up such a large chunk of the SNP vote that wiped them out up here this general election).

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