POLITICS
18/12/2019 09:23 GMT | Updated 18/12/2019 10:11 GMT

Yvette Cooper Confirms She Could Enter Labour Party Leadership Race

Former cabinet minister will 'decide over Christmas' whether to launch second bid.

Yvette Cooper has said she will “decide over Christmas” whether to enter the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader.

The senior MP, who served in the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as well as Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet, ran against Corbyn in 2015 but came third.

“I’ve stood before, but obviously the party membership has changed a lot” she told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Wednesday morning. “There’s a lot of things to reflect on.

“The contest doesn’t start until January, and I’ll decide over Christmas what I’m going to do, because we’ve just obviously had a hard local campaign.”

Cooper said the party had to be “both radical and credible” following its disastrous election result.

“We’ve got the fewest Labour MPs since 1935 and a big drop in working-class support with low-income voters choosing the Conservatives even though they didn’t want to,” she said.

But Cooper is seen as a centrist and could struggle to win over the more leftwing grassroots of the party.

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Keir Starmer has also confirmed he is likely to launch a leadership bid. In a move seen as designed to highlight his leftwing credentials, the shadow Brexit secretary told Today the party should not “oversteer” away from Corbyn’s policies.

The frontrunner in the race is seen to be Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, who has the support of many in the current leadership.

Other potential candidates include Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips.

In a speech in central London this morning, Tony Blair attacked Corbyn for having gone into the election with a “strategy for defeat”.

The former Labour leader said the result “has brought shame on us” and the performance at such a crucial time in British politics was “unforgivable”.

Corbyn told a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party on Tuesday evening that he is “very sorry for the result, for which I take responsibility”.

Angry MPs confronted Corbyn at the meeting, with Rachel Reeves, the chair of the Commons business committee, branding him “economically illiterate”.