Liz Kendall says she lost the Labour leadership election because she was the 'eat your greens' candidate

She says she stands by her political analsyis of why Labour lost the 2015 election

Jon Stone
Tuesday 26 January 2016 17:50
Liz Kendall during the Labour leadership election
Liz Kendall during the Labour leadership election

A former Labour leadership contender has said she lost last year’s race to replace Ed Miliband because she was the “eat your greens candidate”.

Liz Kendall, who finished in last place with 4.5 per cent of the vote, said she stood by her campaign’s political analysis but said she had clearly failed to inspire the party’s members.

Widely perceived as the “Blairite” candidate from the right of the party, Ms Kendall swung behind the party’s interim leadership when it backed the Government’s proposed welfare cuts, including some cuts to tax credits.

The Leicester MP's other policies included scrapping proposed tax rises on the wealthy, a points-based immigration system, and worker representation on company boards.

“There were two reasons why I think that I lost the Labour leadership election: firstly it was people didn’t agree with my analysis about why we lost the general election, and they didn’t feel that I set out an inspiring enough alternative for the future,” she told BBC Two’s Daily Politics programme on Tuesday.

“I think I became a little bit of the ‘eat your greens’ candidate. Now, you know, although I stick by what I say in terms of why I think we lost, that possibly wasn’t the best way to win an internal Labour leadership contest."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who began as an outsider in the contest, won in the first round of voting with 59.5 per cent of the vote of members, supporters, and affiliates.

Andy Burnham came in second place with 19 per cent, and Yvette Cooper came third with 17 per cent.

Though well-liked by insiders, having easily secured the required nominations from her MP colleagues, Ms Kendall failed to secure support from members.

Mr Corbyn’s flew in the face of advice from party grandees that Labour should ditch the so-called “left wing” approach of Ed Miliband and move back to a New Labour approach.

After Mr Corbyn's election Ms Kendall said she would remain on the back benches because of political differences with his approach.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in