Belfast Telegraph

Contenders in Labour leadership race begin wooing party support

Labour leadership hopefuls have criticised the scale of Jeremy Corbyn's radical proposals as they set out their stalls to succeed him and recover from the disastrous election defeat
Labour leadership hopefuls have criticised the scale of Jeremy Corbyn's radical proposals as they set out their stalls to succeed him and recover from the disastrous election defeat

By Sam Blewett

Labour leadership hopefuls have criticised the scale of Jeremy Corbyn's radical proposals as they set out their stalls to succeed him and recover from the disastrous election defeat.

Prominent backbencher Jess Phillips would not commit to re-nationalising all key utilities, a core Labour pledge of the Corbyn years, and said the free broadband proposal was unbelievable.

All of the confirmed candidates, apart from shadow minister Clive Lewis, appeared on yesterday's political shows to make their pitches and bolster their credentials over the crisis in the Middle East.

Ms Phillips told The Andrew Marr Show she would "wait and see" how Brexit turns out but hinted a return to the EU would be possible under her leadership.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, who became the fifth candidate to enter the race at the weekend and is the current favourite in the leadership contest, said Labour lost the public's trust over a lack of clarity on Brexit, anti-Semitism, and a "feeling that the manifesto was overloaded".

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday the "dreadful" electoral result was partly because the manifesto "just wasn't convincing because there was too much in it".

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy told the Pienaar's Politics on BBC Radio 5 Live show that the main factor in Labour's failure was trust, and she blamed Mr Corbyn for failing to acknowledge the power of the Prime Minister's Brexit message.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is the current leadership's favoured candidate, is widely expected to enter the race but is yet to declare.

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