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Kendall and Cooper deny Mandelson leadership plot

Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have denied reports that Lord Mandelson tried to persuade the three mainstream Labour leadership candidates to quit the leadership contest and force the party to stop the election.

Mandelson tried to persuade candidates to quit en-masse to stop election Credit: Reuters

The move by the former politician and 1997 election campaign leader highlights maneuvers within the party to stop Mr Corbyn winning the election.

Ms Cooper said she had not been approached directly by the Labour peer, she was unaware if her campaign team had been contacted.

I’ve not discussed this with Peter Mandelson.

I gather there was some view that maybe the whole process should be stopped because so many people were joining at the last minute. I don’t think that’s right.

I think it’s a good thing that people are joining the party.

– Yvette Cooper, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme

Ms Kendall insisted that neither she nor her office had spoken to him.

Yvette Cooper: Strike reform is 'ideologically driven'

Yvette Cooper Credit: PA / PA Wire

Yvette Cooper, one of Labour's leadership candidates, said that the government's plans for trade unions are an "ideologically driven attack on Britain's trade unions" which "puts narrow Tory party interests ahead of what is right for the country".

"It not only undermines years of progress on workers' rights, but it also breaks the growing consensus on the need to reform funding of political parties.

"This is another example of the Tories employing cheap divide-and-rule tactics."

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