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Spectator magazine under fire for article on Liz Kendall's and Yvette Cooper's looks

The Spectator magazine has come under fire after publishing an article discussing the looks of the two female Labour leadership candidates.

The piece, entitled "Have Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall got the looks for a leadership contest?" was penned by Charles Moore, a former editor of the publication.

The article asks whether Liz Kendall or Yvette Cooper have the right look to lead Labour. Credit: Spectator

Moore, who has also written an authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, writes "there is an understanding that no leader - especially, despite the age of equality, a woman - can look grotesque on television and win a general election."

He then proceeds to ask whether Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper have the right look to succeed in the election.

"Possibly Ms Cooper has them (looks) there is something quite appealing about her slightly French crop and black and white dresses, especially when she is being so boring that one looks rather than listens.

"Ms Kendall looks like a nice person, but not in a distinctive way", he adds.

I sense that the right woman leader to win a general election for Labour today would conform to one of two physical types.

She would either be a more lower-middle-class version of Clare Balding — reassuring, competent, well-rounded, possibly lesbian — or more provocative and sassy, like the wonderful one with a strong northern accent whose name I have forgotten who talks about money and business on BBC Breakfast.

– Charles Moore, writing in the Spectator

The article has attracted widespread criticism online, with many saying the piece is outdated and sexist.

Asked by Channel 4 News journalist Fraser Nelson if he would run a similar piece about Andy Burnham or Jeremy Corbyn, editor Fraser Nelson said: "Sounds great".