Liz Kendall says she is 'the real anti-austerity candidate' for Labour leader

Ms Kendall says she wants to run a budget surplus however

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Labour leadership candidate Liz Kendall has declared that she is “the real anti-austerity candidate” despite a commitment to cut the deficit and run a budget surplus.

In a video interview with the journalist Owen Jones Ms Kendall said Labour had reconsider what it stood for and that people should not call her a “Tory” for supporting some Conservative party policies.

“I’m the real anti-austerity candidate because I’m the one who’s going to beat the Tories, kick them out, and then get us a Labour government,” she argued.

“We shouldn’t use those sorts of attacks whether it’s people without the party or outside the party or on a different campaign – accusations of being Tory or Tory-lite are a substitute for being forced to think – to think again about who we are and what we’re for.”

Ms Kendall defended her decision to abstain on the Tories welfare bill, saying that interim leader Harriet Harman was “right” on the proposed cuts.

Other Labour leadership candidates Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham also abstained on the bill, though Mr Burnham has since said that if he was leading the party he would have opposed it.

Jeremy Corbyn, the frontrunner for the Labour leadership, voted against the cuts entirely, arguing that policies like the welfare cap were leading to “social cleansing” of parts of the capital.

 

Ms Kendall is widely regarded as the Blairite candidate in the Labour leadership election.

Voting in the Labour leadership election is currently underway, with the result set to be announced at a special conference in Central London on 12 September.

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