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Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall yesterday failed to confirm whether or not she supports the PS3bn of cuts announced by the Chancellor last week.

Asked on BBC 1's The Andrew Marr Show about the need to cut the deficit, she said: "Let's see what the Conservatives come out with in their budget. I'm not going to provide a budget response to a budget that has not been delivered "But it is vital that fiscal credibility is at the heart of all we do because people need to trust us with our money to win but also because there is nothing progressive about spending more on debt interest repayments than spending on the future of educating our children."

Asked again whether the deficit needs to be dealt with, she replied: "The deficit needs to be dealt with, but we need to do far more....this is the really important challenge for the future. How do we get jobs and growth in every part of the country?" Asked if she supports cuts as a means of getting the deficit down, she said: "We need to balance the books and live within our means but in a better, fairer way.

"When we have seen what George Osborne is proposing I will come back to you.

"Let's see what the details are. We have yet to see many of the commitments that the Conservatives made during the campaign. "Fiscal credibility and responsibility and living within our means is essential but so too is making sure we have real growth in all parts of the country. Ed Miliband was actually right about that as a big challenge."

Asked if she had enough "heft" to be Labour leader, Ms Kendall replied: "Yes, I do.

"The question for this leadership election is not what jobs people have had in the past but who will face up to what we need to do to win in 2020 to change our country."

Former defence secretary Lord Hutton backed Ms Kendall's bid, describing her as "brave and courageous" and the person to take the party in the "right direction".

The Labour peer told Sky News' Murnaghan: "This is a moment in Labour's growth and development that we need to skip a generation.

"I think we have got to put behind us all of the antagonism and disagreements of the past and choose a leader who is unencumbered with any of that and can take the party in the right direction."

Asked what that involved, he replied: "It has got to be on getting Labour back onto the centre ground."


Liz Kendall is questioned by Andrew Marr on the BBC yesterday <B

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 8, 2015
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