Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said she is determined to take her campaign across the country to win the leadership battle

Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, and the Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford
Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, and the Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford

Yvette, the third favourite of bookies after Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall, said the party cannot afford to lose one more general election.

We cannot repeat the same mistakes again,” she wrote in her blog in the Huffington Post. “But nor can we give in to despair, write off the next election as we flail about, or give in to the Tories – as I’ve heard too many people starting to suggest. Those who depended most on a Labour Government have already been let down, we cannot let them down again. This party needs to pick ourselves up and start getting on with an urgent plan to change, to rebuild, and to win not just in 2020 but next year’s elections too.

“I’ve been part of our Labour movement since I marched as a child with my dad under the union banners on the Peoples March for Jobs in the eighties, through to bringing in Sure Start or improving cancer care as a Labour government minister. I know both the great talent and strength of our party to refresh and renew, but also the real despair of long years in opposition, powerless to help people get on. We cannot go there again.

“This is a real turning point for the Labour Party and the country – a do or die moment. No one should be giving up on a Labour Government in 2020. I’m determined we can win again. And this leadership election – focused on the future – must be the start of making that happen.

“We lost votes in many directions. In our target seats, the Tories increased their votes and so did Ukip. Too many swing voters and traditional voters chose anyone but us. The assumption that the Lib Dem vote would collapse in our favour was simply wrong. Though some switched to Labour in the cities, in market towns and suburbs many more went straight past us, the Tory voters we needed stayed put and our traditional support became thinner.”

“In a fast changing world, where the balance of power and wealth is shifting east to Asia, where technology is wiping out the routine jobs of the past, families want to know how we’re going to make it in the years to come. Not as an also ran. But as a world-beater,£ she added.

“I’ll be campaigning to become Labour leader in all parts of the country, drawing on the views of all parts of our Party and listening to those who have turned away from Labour, as well as those who stayed with us. We won’t win 2020 through speeches or dinners in Westminster, we’ll win in the sports halls and living rooms, offices and canteens, working men’s clubs and school gates across the country. And I want this debate – about our party, our country – to be as wide and as engaging as possible. That means as many people as possible involved in the leadership election, not just a closed down or polarised contest.”




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