Labour Leadership: Chuka Umunna calls for party solidarity and support for new leader

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has called for Labour to unite behind the new party leader in an apparent offer of reconciliation from the party's modernising wing to leadership favourite Jeremy Corbyn.

He also welcomed a surge in party membership and support in the run up to the leadership contest saying that it was important not to "dismiss out of hand" criticism of New Labour.

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Burnham: I would lead a 'proudly pro-European' party

Andy Burnham has warned against flirting with the idea of a British exit from the European Union and said the Labour party under his leadership would be "proudly pro-European."

Andy Burnham says flirting with EU exit puts people's jobs and future prosperity at risk. Credit: PA

Burham insisted that a British exit would put jobs and the economy at risk, and said it was time to "nail our colours firmly to the mast".

Speaking at a campaign event in Swansea, Mr Burnham said:

"To flirt with exit from the EU is to put people's jobs, communities and future prosperity at risk. This is no time to cut ourselves off from our largest market. It is time to nail our colours firmly to the mast.

"Any Labour Party I lead will be proudly pro-European and will instantly set about the task of securing our membership of the EU."

The warning comes after Mr Corbyn suggested that Labour could hold a special conference before deciding its response to any EU reform package proposed by David Cameron.

PM: Corbyn's foreign policy would make UK 'less secure'

Labour leadership favourite Jeremy Corbyn would make the UK "less secure" as he has "absolutely the wrong approach" to foreign policy, Prime Minister David Cameron has told ITV News.

David Cameron criticised Jeremy Corbyn for appearing to compare Islamic State atrocities to actions by the US military in Iraq in an interview last year.

Speaking during a visit to an aircraft engineering company at Norwich Airport, Mr Cameron was asked for a response to Mr Corbyn's pledge to apologise for the Iraq War on behalf of the Labour Party if elected leader.

What Jeremy Corbyn does is a matter for Jeremy Corbyn. My concern is that we do everything we can to protect and enhance the security of the United Kingdom and the idea that we would be stronger and more secure by leaving Nato, as Jeremy Corbyn suggests, or by comparing American soldiers to Isil ... is absolutely the wrong approach and would make Britain less secure and that would never happen under my watch.

– David Cameron, speaking to ITV News

Straw denies Iraq 'deception' as he rejects Corbyn pledge

Former foreign secretary Jack Straw has dismissed Jeremy Corbyn's pledge to apologise for the Iraq War on behalf of Labour if elected as the party's leader.

Mr Corbyn, the front runner in the leadership race who fiercely opposed the 2003 invasion, said the party must say sorry for the "deception" in a statement to The Guardian.

While Jack Straw joined then-Prime Minister Tony Blair in leading the case for the Iraq invasion, Jeremy Corbyn was among Labour backbenchers who opposed war in the Commons. Credit: PA

Mr Straw, who helped to lead the case for war and has always defended the controversial decision to invade, told ITV News: "There was no deception."

The view that Iraq posed a threat because of its weapons of mass destruction was upheld unanimously by the Security Council when it passed Resolution 1441 in November 2002.

– Jack Straw, speaking to ITV News

"I deeply regret the loss of life," Mr Straw added.

British-based group the Iraq Body Count has recorded 142,856 to 162,136 civilian deaths in Iraq from violence following the 2003 invasion as part of a total death toll of 219,000, though all figures are considered to be low-end estimates. Some 179 British personnel died in the conflict.

The Chilcot Inquiry, which was set up in July 2009 to look at the UK's role in the Iraq War, including the decision to invade and the preparation of troops, is still to publish its findings.


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