We can't condemn our children to growing up under a Tory government, says Yvette Cooper

Ms Cooper called for a 'radical and credible' alternative

Jon Stone
Thursday 13 August 2015 14:04
Yvette Cooper gave the speech in Manchester
Yvette Cooper gave the speech in Manchester

The Labour leadership election is a battle for the soul of the party, one of the candidates in the race has said.

In a speech in Manchester on Thursday Yvette Cooper argued that frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn was offering “old solutions to old problems” and that he could not win the Labour leadership election.

“We cannot condemn today’s five year olds to spend all their childhood under a Tory Government," she told an audience.

Referencing a poll showing Mr Corbyn with a vast lead over his rivals, she said: “If the Times and YouGov [poll is] right – and it’s a big if – there’s a battle on for the soul of our party.

“It’s not about personalities. It’s about the future of our country, and I won’t duck that fight, because there is too much at stake.

“I’m here because I can’t walk away from this party, can’t walk away from the people Labour should be standing for.”

She criticised Mr Corbyn’s international policy and said that Labour would not win under his leadership, leaving it with only its “principles”.

“I dare you to tell that to the woman in tears because she cant afford her bedroom tax arrears, tell that to the working parents on tax credits about to lose thousands of pounds who cant afford new school shoes for the autumn term, tell that to the family struggling with care costs, forced to sell their family home, tell that to all those people who are being hit by Tory government,” she said.

“All those people with no one else to stand up for them other than the Labour party.That’s us. That’s our job. We can’t walk away.”

Like her colleagues Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall, Ms Cooper did not vote against benefit cuts included in the Government’s latest welfare bill. Mr Corbyn voted against the cuts.

Ms Cooper is roughly in the middle of the field for the Labour leadership race, according to polling and constituency party nominations

A latest poll showed Mr Corbyn winning on first preference votes.

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