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Labour leadership favourite Jeremy Corbyn eyes 'new kind of politics'

By David Hughes

Published 13/08/2015

Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn is applauded following a speech at a Labour party leadership rally (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Jeremy Corbyn attends the West Belfast Talks Back event at St Louise's College. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Jeremy Corbyn at the West Belfast Talks Back event at St Louise's College. Photo: Kevin Scott / Presseye
Jeremy Corbyn arrives to join the West Belfast Talks Back panel at St Louise's College. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Jeremy Corbyn arrives to join the West Belfast Talks Back panel at St Louise's College. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Jeremy Corbyn joins the West Belfast Talks Back panel at St Louise's College. Photos: Niall Carson/PA
Jeremy Corbyn joins the West Belfast Talks Back panel at St Louise's College. Photos: Niall Carson/PA
(Left - right) Sinn Fein councillor Eoin O Broin, DUP's Gavin Robinson MP, Chair Noel Thompson, Jeremy Corbyn and comedian Nuala Mckeever during the West Belfast Talks Back panel at St Louise's College. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Jeremy Corbyn has promised a "new kind of politics" if he wins the Labour leadership contest as the party prepared to send out the first ballot papers.

The left-winger, who has emerged as the surprise frontrunner to take control of the party on September 12, will continue his campaign in Scotland - where Labour suffered a catastrophic defeat in the general election.

The backbench MP's leadership rivals have clashed over how to halt his momentum, with Andy Burnham urging a "positive campaign" while Yvette Cooper criticised the left-wing favourite.

Mr Corbyn will formally launch his 10-point "Standing to Deliver" plan in Glasgow and will post a copy to all Labour Party members in the hope of securing their vote as the ballot papers start to arrive on doormats.

His policies include a commitment to "growth not austerity", nationalising the railways and energy sector, and a plan for nuclear disarmament.

Labour was almost wiped out in its Scottish heartlands in May, with just a single MP left after the SNP landslide, and Mr Corbyn said the party could not regain ground unless it fundamentally changed.

He said: "I have chosen Scotland to set out the values and policies I'm standing to deliver, on the day the ballot papers are sent out, because Scotland is one of several examples of how Labour has become disconnected.

"Labour cannot win in Scotland without change; and Labour cannot have a path back to power that fails to speak to Scotland.

"This plan of the values and ideas I'm standing to deliver are intended to speak to all parts of Britain, not setting one against another as the Tories have done.

"Combined, they are a new kind of politics: a fairer, kinder Britain based on innovation, decent jobs and decent public services."

Mr Burnham - the closest challenger according to polls suggesting Mr Corbyn is on course for a shock victory - said it was unhelpful to "second guess" the outcome and make such "dire predictions".

"I think people are well aware of the issues at stake and I think the time has come to trust the members of our party and the supporters of our party to make the right decision about its future," he told the Press Association - later suggesting attacks on Mr Corbyn "misread the mood" of the party.

But Ms Cooper used a speech to criticise the frontrunner, accusing him of proposing "old solutions to old problems" and presenting herself as the "real radical".

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Ms Cooper's campaign received a boost as the Guardian endorsed her in an editorial which said that although Mr Corbyn had "breathed extraordinary life" into the campaign, he would not be able to win the votes from the Tories necessary to clinch victory at a general election.

Although Ms Cooper, like rivals Mr Burnham and Liz Kendall, had "failed to inspire" during the campaign, the newspaper concluded she was best-placed to take on David Cameron and would represent a historic first for Labour, which has never elected a female leader.

The first of more than 600,000 ballot papers will be sent out to long-standing members who have already been verified amid continued concern about the way the contest is being conducted.

Mr Burnham denied his campaign was "crying foul" over new leadership rules which have seen more than 120,000 people pay £3 to qualify for a vote - raising fears of political opponents undermining the process - and almost 190,000 from trade unions and other affiliates signed up.

He said it should be a "cause for celebration" that so many people had been attracted to take part so long as the party was able to weed out Tory MPs and others guilty of "despicable" attempts to subvert the result.

But he confirmed that he and rivals had raised formal concerns about their lack of access to the details of a late rush of new recruits.

Ms Kendall conceded she had "a hell of a long way to go" to convince enough people to back her as she prepared to embark on a 72-hour marathon tour to every part of Britain in a bid to revive her flagging campaign, with events in Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle on the first day of her whistlestop itinerary.

Mr Burnham won the backing of the Daily Mirror in an editorial saying he is the leader who will "unite his party and deliver for the people who need Labour most".

"He combines proven experience with passion and principle," the newspaper said.

"The boy from an ordinary working-class background who went to Cambridge, he understands the everyday issues facing Mirror readers.

"He is deeply committed to Labour principles, but with the strength and leadership to make difficult decisions."

It urged Mr Burnham to "find a role for the man who lit up the election campaign, Jeremy Corbyn" in his team.

The newspaper recommended that voters should use their second preference to back Ms Cooper.

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