POLITICS

Watch The Final Labour Leadership Hustings With Corbyn, Burnham, Cooper And Kendall

28/07/2015 11:48 BST | Updated 28/07/2015 15:59 BST

Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have taken part in, or endured, 20 Labour leadership hustings across the country.

On Saturday, the candidates took part in the final Q&A, hosted by The Huffington Post's Paul Waugh. The full debate can be viewed above. Highlights, including Burnham's explanation of why Corbyn appeared to be winning, can be watched below.


At the hustings, Kendall warned the Conservative Party wanted to "wipe" Labour out of existence. "They are going to take our money from trade union reforms, they are going to take our constituencies in the boundary reforms and the are stoking up English nationalism joined by the SNP," she said.

"We have to come back fighting, be trusted on the economy, be trusted with businesses and be the real party of working people. Otherwise we won’t have a hope in hell of winning back this party and country again."

And Corbyn warned the working classes were being "denigrated" by the Conservative Party. "Owen Jones has written some very good stuff on this which I recommend people to read," he said.

He added: "Be proud as a party of our links with trade unions, don’t be embarrassed about it, we were founded by trade unions."

The apparent surge in support for Corbyn has caught the other candidates off guard. Burnham told the hustings the reason the Islington North MP was doing so well was that "he speaks in a way that people can think it's coming straight form what he believes".

Kendall also said Labour needed to find "common ground" with voters in order to win back those who had voted for David Cameron.

"I grew up near Watford, which now has a stroking 10,000 Tory majority, yet we held that seat for years," she said. "The are not bad people, I don’t believe they voted for the Tories out of any great love, they voted for them because they didn’t think we provided a credible alternative."

In her pitch for the leadership, Cooper said Labour members needed to focus on who could win the general election in 2020.

In what was seen as a jibe at Corbyn, she said: "Make sure when you vote you don’t just choose someone who makes you feel good about the party in this meeting today, but someone you are confident can be alternative Labour prime minister from the start. Someone who is strong enough tho take on David Cameron," she said.

Burnham used the hustings to say Labour needed to address the "legitimate concerns about immigration" that many voters had. "Part of Labour getting in to a position where we can go back into government is having a real answer these concerns," he said.

He said while freedom of movement within the EU was a "good thing" it should not be the same as "freedom to claim" welfare.

During the hustings, Burnham also made an impassioned defence of his decision to abstain on the Tory welfare bill, declaring that he was not prepared to plunge Labour into 'civil war' by quitting the shadow cabinet over the issue.

And Corbyn, who has emerged as the surprise frontrunner, confirmed for the first time that he is prepared to campaign for Britain to quit the European Union if he becomes leader.

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