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West Yorkshire MP launches Labour leadership campaign

West Yorkshire MP Yvette Cooper has officially launched her campaign to become the next leader of the Labour Party.

The wife of the ex-shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, who lost his seat earlier this month, Ms Cooper is urging Labour members not to become mired in internal disputes of the past about why labour did so badly at the General Election.

She is one of three female candidates for the job, but the bookies' favourite is the Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

Anti-austerity protesters gather in Leeds

People are gathering in Leeds city centre to protest against austerity.

Anti-austerity protestors gather in Leeds

It comes on the day the Queen's delivered the first Conservative Government speech in over two decades.

The protest in Leeds has been organised by Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs and will take place at the same time as similar protests in Bradford, Huddersfield, Grimsby and other cities.

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Healey confirms plans to run for Deputy Labour leader

MP for Dearne and Wentworth, John Healey, has announced he is running to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

Healey confirms plans to run for Deputy Labour leader Credit: Press Association

Mr Healey said he had not intended to run but said he was "dismayed at how narrow and shallow the debate has been so far".

He becomes the seventh candidate in the running for the position, meaning at least one or two of those already declared will lack enough MPs' support to make the ballot paper.

Also standing are Don Valley MP, Caroline Flint, as well as Rushanara Ali, Ben Bradshaw, Angela Eagle, Stella Creasy, and Tom Watson.

A wee problem in Sherburn-in-Elmet

Campaigners trying to save a public toilet in North Yorkshire, have vowed to fight on, even though work to demolish it has begun.

Selby council say removing the old block in Sherburn in Elmet will improve the look and feel of the village and say it has the support of the local parish council.

But protest leader Malcoln Dowson claims the facilities, which have stood for over 100 years, are much needed because the population is growing and the toilets should be refurbished.

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Cooper wants to put 'families at heart' of Labour party

Yvette Cooper has said the Labour party has to offer hope to families. Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire/PA Images

Labour leadership hopeful Yvette Cooper has said she will put measures to help families at the heart of her campaign to rebuild Labour after its election defeat.

The shadow home secretary said Labour had to "reach outwards" and "rebuild", winning back voters who deserted the party in favour of the Tories, Ukip and the SNP.

Ms Cooper believes she can smash the "glass ceiling" and become Labour's first permanent female leader, vowing to "shake up the system".

In an interview with The Sun on Sunday (£), mother-of-three Ms Cooper, whose husband and former shadow chancellor Ed Balls lost his Westminster seat in the general election, said Labour had to offer hope to families.

We need to put families at the heart of our politics. As a mum, I feel very strongly about that because my family, my kids are the most important thing in my life.

That has to be reflected in what we do. We have got to reach out and rebuild and that means winning back voters.

We've got to show practical things we can do to help families get on, to know their kids can get an apprenticeship, have a good start in life and go to university.

– Yvette Cooper
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Cooper: Labour 'have to face some hard truths'

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has admitted her party needs to "face some hard truths" if they want to become electable in future.

Yvette Cooper, Labour's shadow home secretary Credit: PA Wire

Writing in a blog for The Huffington Post, Cooper said: "Bluntly, not enough people trusted us with their future. Not enough people were convinced we could do the job.

"The mountain we now have to climb is high."

The Labour leadership contender also warned her party against swinging too far to the left or right in its bid to win back voters stating "that's no good for Labour, for Britain or for those who depend on progressive change. We can't fight and win by remaining a narrow party, we have to reach out."

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Former Bradford Council leader Eric Pickles to be knighted

Eric Pickles, who is originally from Keighley, is to be given a knighthood, Downing Street has announced.

Former Bradford Council leader Eric Pickles to be knighted Credit: Press Association

The Conservative former Communities Secretary will be made a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his public service as an MP, a former Cabinet minister and his time in local government including two years as Bradford Council leader, No 10 said.

Mr Pickles, who was first elected to Parliament in 1992, lost his front bench role following the general election.

John Mann: Of course I could do the top job

Outspoken Labour MP John Mann claims he could have been the Labour Party's next leader, but does not have enough support inside the party.

In the past two days the Bassetlaw MP has derided his party for its "monochrome" performance in the general election and released his own "manifesto for a brilliant Britain".

He told ITV Calendar it contains values many traditional Labour supporters would support, but he does not have enough support from party colleagues to challenge as leader:

Asked if he thought he could do the top job in the party, Mr Mann said, "Of course I could do the top job."

"Get me a group of Labour MPs signing a nomination and perhaps I'll be there. But I'm not holding my breath."

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