Burnham: “The Party Always Comes First”

Burnham: “The party always comes first…”

Kendall: “Er, the country always comes first”…

Burn…

UPDATE: Toby Perkins – an early backer of Liz Kendall – deleted  his retweet of Tim Montgomerie’s view of the Burnham gaffe last night, perhaps nervous of being seen to have “gone negative”.

RT @montie: If Andy Burnham becomes Labour leader this will be hung around his neck by the Tory machine

Never mind the Tory machine, the Kendall campaign is going for it:

UPDATE II: Liz sources pushing it hard, saying the line was totally off the cuff: “It’s the kind of thing that is important for PMQs. Quick reactions.”

New Statesman NFI’d to Labour Leadership Hustings

Labour have announced which news organisations have been invited to chair each of their regional leadership hustings, which are taking place in addition to the ones on TV and radio:

Anushka Asthana, Sky News

David Clegg, Daily Record

Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian

Isabel Hardman, The Spectator

Gaby Hinsliff, Political Editor, Grazia

Chris Lloyd, Northern Echo

Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph

Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times

Jim Waterson, Buzzfeed UK

Paul Waugh, HuffingtonPost UK

The Speccie and the Telegraph get one each, even Buzzfeed are on the list. Yet the New Statesman, Labour’s in house magazine, are nowhere to be seen. Was it something they said?

Labour U-Turn on Public Engagement Promise to Stop #ToriesForCorbyn

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Despite Harriet Harman’s promise that Labour aren’t “afraid” to allow Joe Public a vote in their leadership contest…

“We must let the public in. Into the process and into our minds as we make the decisions about who is our next leader and how we go forward. So we are going to start that with how we do the leadership elections.”

… The party tell MailOnline that they will now require a “verification” process to root out Tory entryists. A Labour source tells Guido:

“Registered supporters have to support the aims and values of the Labour Party and if they don’t then they won’t be allowed to take part.”

The end of #ToriesForCorbyn? A cunning plan relying only on the Tories never telling a lie…

Watson Flanked By Sex Segregation Councillors in New Campaign Video

Bad enough that Steve Coogan and Eddie Izzard feature in Tom Watson’s new campaign video for his deputy leadership bid, but look who he has standing behind him at the end of the film:

On the left, Ansar Ali Khan and on the right, Mariam Khan, the two Labour councillors who organised the party’s controversial sex segregated rally, attended by Watson before the election.

A candidate standing for social justice and equality might have quietly sidelined the Khans after such an unsavoury episode. Instead Watson puts them front and centre…

Last Minute Watson Fix Fails

A last minute attempt by Tom Watson to block his opponents from making the ballot paper has failed. Labour sources say Watson was actively dissuading his supporters from lending their votes to anyone else in the running, as Stella Creasy, Angela Eagle and Ben Bradshaw looked to be missing out with just minutes to spare. Rushanara Ali then withdrew when she realised she wasn’t going to make 35 so her supporters could help the other three make it.

Labour’s tendency to look for some leader-deputy leader gender balance doesn’t bode well for Watson if Burnham wins. What was it about Stella and Angela that caused him to try and block their nominations?

Labour Deputy Leadership: Who Made it on the Ballot?

Rushanara Ali’s withdrawal with 19 minutes to go means:

Boom? Noms? Totes amazing.

Meaning the five on the ballot are:

  • Tom Watson
  • Caroline Flint
  • Stella Creasy
  • Angela Eagle
  • Ben Bradshaw

Watson favourite…

Toby Crunches #ToriesForCorbyn Numbers

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Toby Young has a cunning plan in the Telegraph:

“The size of the Labour leadership electorate is projected to be 240,000 or thereabouts, so quite large. Second preferences are redistributed and, assuming Liz Kendall’s eliminated first, followed by Yvette Cooper, I can’t see him getting many of those. To win, therefore, Corbyn would need to get close to 50 per cent of first preferences – quite a tall order, even in a party as batshit crazy as Labour.

But that doesn’t mean 120,000 Tories will have to vote for him. Incredibly, Corbyn is quite popular with Labour’s grass roots. He was the overwhelming favourite in a recent LabourList poll, attracting a whopping 47 per cent of the vote, compared to 13 per cent for Burnham, 11 per cent for Kendall and nine per cent for Cooper. If that holds up, he could win as many as 40,000 votes without any help from us. That means only 80,000 #ToriesForCorbyn need to sign up to put him over the top. Note to Lynton: You can buy the next election for just £240,000.”

Guido suspects this could go the same way as Toby’s Tory/UKIP pact plan, but all good fun.

The Guardian have had a characteristically po-faced reaction to the campaign:

“Conservative party supporters have mounted a Twitter campaign to elect Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in order to damage the party’s future election chances. According to new rules, anybody can pay £3 to register as a Labour supporter and vote for the new leader, a change that some speculated would leave the process open to abuse by opponents.”

Sign up here.

Cooper Scrapes the Barrel

A spokesman from the Yvette Cooper campaign writes today:

So, on behalf of Yvette’s Leadership Campaign, I am today making these promises:

If anyone is speaking on behalf of the campaign, they will do so explicitly on the record. There will be no unattributed negative briefings about other candidates because that’s not the kind of politics Yvette has ever wanted to champion
If anyone else is speaking to you and claiming to do so on Yvette’s behalf and wants to criticise opponents – you can take it from me that they do not speak for the campaign or Yvette – and if she or I get to hear about it they will have lost our trust and our respect. I hope that all of the candidates will join me in making that pledge
If Yvette disagrees with things the other candidates are saying she will say so herself – on the record or in interviews.

We want this campaign to be about the best Labour has to offer. Negative briefing has no place in this debate.

This would be the same Yvette Cooper that is married to Ed Balls.

Pity, there was Guido beginning to enjoy the incoming chatter…

Broad Early Support For Corbyn

Last month Guido speculated that Labour’s enemies might ‘do a Balotelli’ and take up Harriet Harman’s offer to engage in the party’s leadership race.

Jeremy Corbyn is certainly enjoying some broad early support…

[…]

+ READ MORE +

‘Taliban’ Liz Condemns Burnham and Cooper Campaigns

TALIBAN

Liz Kendall’s campaign chief Toby Perkins writes to Burnham and Cooper:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Anthony Akbar! New Labour Taliban Assault on Burnham HQ

Spotted outside 83 Victoria Street, the building that houses the headquarters of Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall, this afternoon:

And down the road at Labour HQ:

Long live Mr Tony, peace be upon him.

Bring Back Blair….[…]

+ READ MORE +

Corbyn Invited Terrorists and War Criminals Into Parliament

Q: How is that whole ‘broadening the debate’ thing working out for Labour?

A: Well, they have on their ballot paper a man who invited Hezbollah and Hamas into our corridors of power:

“Tomorrow evening it will be my pleasure

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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