Calls to halt Labour leadership race 'not helpful'

Calls to halt the Labour leadership race have been branded "unhelpful" after reports emerged today of an alleged "hard-left infiltration" of the party.

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Corbyn wants to convert Labour into a 'more social movement'

Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn said his campaign is about "converting the Labour party into a much more social movement" after his party showed it was "incapable" of offering voters a political alternative in the last election.

Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr show he criticised Labour's recent position and indicated it was time for change.

He said: "It's been too close to big business, it's too close to economic orthodoxy, it's been incapable of offering Labour voters and the majority of the electorate a real alternative and that was the fundamental problem in the last election."

Kendall: Voters 'want something different' from Labour

Labour leadership candidate Liz Kendall has reiterated her determination to stay in the race despite calls for her to step aside.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Kendall insisted she still believed she could win.

Liz Kendall takes part in a Labour Party leadership hustings in Cheshire Credit: PA Wire

"People want hope. They want something different. There are only two candidates setting out an alternative in this election from what we have been saying over the last five years, that is myself and Jeremy Corbyn."

She declined to say who her backers should vote for as a second preference in the contest, which is run under an Alternative Vote (AV) system.

Corbyn victory could spell end of Labour, donor warns

Victory for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership race could lead to the break-up of the party, one of its biggest donors has warned.

A win for Jeremy Corbyn will divide the party, John Mills believes Credit: PA Wire

Entrepreneur John Mills said a win for the left-winger could lead to donations from wealthy backers drying up and ultimately result in a split in Labour like the one that led to the creation of the SDP in the 1980s.

Mr Mills, who founded the JML home shopping firm, told the Guardian: "If Corbyn won, I suspect what would happen is that there would be some sort of split. Then you would have an SDP-type party."

He predicted that some donors would stop funding Labour, although he acknowledged there could be more support from the trade unions.

"The Labour party has a spectrum of donors," he said. "I suspect that some of the major donors would be less likely to give, and so the amount of donations would go down. But at the same time donations from trade unions could go up."

New poll backs Burnham as Labour row continues

A new poll suggests Andy Burnham is the Labour leadership candidate believed to make the best prime minister.

The Ipsos MORI survey found 27% thought Burnham would make a good leader, with Yvette Cooper on 22%, Jeremy Corbyn on 17% and Liz Kendall on 16%.

It comes amid an ongoing row over rival Jeremy Corbyn, with former cabinet heavyweight Lord Prescott weighing in.

As Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports, the ex-deputy PM condemned his old boss Tony Blair's comment that those voting with their heart for Corbyn should "get a transplant".


Liz Kendall: I will not step aside from leadership race

Labour leadership outsider Liz Kendall has refused to bow to pressure and remove herself from the contest to help defeat Jeremy Corbyn.

Asked by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen whether she would consider standing down after polls showed her in last place, Kendall replied: "Never... you can't stop fighting for what you believe in."

The MP for Leicester West said that only she and Corbyn were the only candidates "making a different case from where Labour's been at the last two elections".

However, she said a Corbyn victory would turn Labour into an "unelectable party of protest".

Prescott: Blair's attack on Corbyn 'totally unacceptable'

John Prescott on the Today Programme Credit: Twitter/BBC Radio 4

John Prescott has blasted his former boss Tony Blair for "totally unacceptable" comments he made about left-wing leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn.

In a rare speech yesterday, Blair told the centrist think-tank Progress that anyone whose heart was with Corbyn should get a "transplant".

Incensed by this, former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott told BBC Radio 4 that Blair's intervention was "absolutely staggering".

He said: "To use that kind of language is just abuse. The Labour Party is about the heart as well as the head. To suggest that somebody should have a transplant if they are making decisions by the heart is totally unacceptable."

He also rejected claims that it would be a "disaster" for Labour if Mr Corbyn became leader and said it was Mr Blair's invasion of Iraq which had undermined support for the party.

Liz Kendall refuses to stand aside in Labour leadership

Liz Kendall (centre) and supporters Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire

Liz Kendall has said she will not pull out of the Labour leadership race to help block the challenge from Jeremy Corbyn.

The shadow care minister, currently a distant fourth, is said to be under pressure to quit to allow the right of the party to shore up the vote for one of her rivals - Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper.

However an aide to Ms Kendall - seen as the Blairites' favourite - insisted that she had no intention of standing aside.

They said Mr Burnham and Ms Cooper had only themselves to blame for the growing bandwagon apparently building behind Mr Corbyn.

"It's not going to happen. This briefing is nonsense because in a preference vote it doesn't matter how many candidates there are," a spokesman said.

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