Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Poll Blow to Labour Leadership Contenders

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Poll Blow to Labour Leadership Contenders

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil and Joseph Watts

THE SCALE of Labour's crisis was laid bare today with a new poll showing even its most favoured leadership contender has the backing of just over a quarter of the public to be a good Prime Minister.

The Ipsos MORI survey for the Standard found only 27 per cent saw shadow health secretary Andy Burnham as having what it takes to be a good premier. He was ahead of shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper on 22 per cent, Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn on 17 per cent and Blairite candidate Liz Kendall on 16 per cent.

The poll came as Lord Prescott rounded on Tony Blair for saying anyone whose heart told them they should back Mr Corbyn should "get a transplant".

"I found that absolutely staggering. To use that kind of language is just abuse," said the former deputy prime minister.

He denied it would be a "disaster" for Labour if Mr Corbyn won and said Mr Blair's invasion of Iraq had undermined support for the party.

The peer also hit out at acting Labour leader Harriet Harman, accusing her of exceeding her authority and getting it "wrong" with her stance not opposing some Tory welfare cuts.

Ms Cooper today joined Mr Burnham in criticising Labour's approach to the Welfare Bill as a "complete mess".

Meanwhile, Ms Kendall rejected calls for her to stand aside to boost Mr Burnham or Ms Cooper's chances against Mr Corbyn after a shock poll put him ahead. One Kendall supporter alleged: "This is deliberate misleading briefing that says more about Andy and Yvette's problems following their flip-flop on welfare."

Leadership candidates often have a low public profile. But the latest poll still highlights Labour's challenge to get anywhere near No 10: it put the Tories on 37 per cent, Labour 31 per cent, Liberal Democrats 10 per cent and Ukip nine per cent. …

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