Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Corbyn under Fire over Plans to Re-Open Pits

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Corbyn under Fire over Plans to Re-Open Pits

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Editor

LABOUR leadership candidate Liz Kendall has attacked suggestions from rival candidate Jeremy Corbyn that he might re-open coal mines if he became prime minister.

Ms Kendall said the scheme would do nothing to bring "highskilled, high wage jobs" to the North East.

Instead, Labour should back firms such as Hitachi and Nissan, and work with industry to create high-tech jobs in the region, she said.

She pointed out that Mr Corbyn had refused to r u l e campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union - a move which she said would damage exports, an important part of the North East's economy.

And she warned: "Jeremy Corbyn's policies are wrong."

"A leader who simply believes you can print money as a way of getting out of problems won't be trusted by the public," Ms Kendall said.

The gloves came off in the Labour leadership contest as the party began sending ballot papers out to eligible voters, who include registered supporters and members of affiliated bodies such as trade unions, as well as members.

Mr Corbyn, a London backbench MP seen as the most leftwing of the four candidates, is now regarded as the favourite to win.

Former party leader Tony Blair has warned Labour risks "annihilation" if Mr Corbyn is put in charge.

And Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, another candidate, said his policies "aren't credible", adding: "They won't change the world, they will keep us out of power and stop us changing the world."

Mr Corbyn said a future Labour government should re-open some pits where possible, in an interview earlier this month.

When asked by the BBC whether harnessing more coal would mean reopening North pits, he said: "Where you can re-open pits, yes, and where you can do clean burn coal technology, yes."

Speaking to the Journal on the eve of a campaigning visit to Newcastle and Sedgefield, Ms Kendall said: "There has been a lot about why many people feel Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable. …

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