Labour Leadership contest 2010

AnnieM, June 16, 2010

Contestants for the Labour leadership took part last night in a televised debate on Newsnight which saw Diane Abbott, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and brothers David and Ed Miliband fight it out as they attempted to woo voters on national television.

Members of the labour party and various trade unions will ultimately decide who will be the next Labour leader when they vote in September.

Yet with such seemingly similar contestants, it will be hard to unpick the vital differences between each of them.  So what are their differences? How does each one stand out from the others?

Ed Balls

MP for Morley and Outwood

  • Brought together schools and children’s policy for the first time in the Children’s plan
  • Voted for the Iraq invasion
  • Gordon Brown ally
  • Believes in:
    • Power to detain terror suspects for 42 days without charge
    • Trident renewal
    • House of lords reform (80% elected lords)
    • Identity cards
    • Respite care for disabled people and their families
    • Raising education and training age to 18
  • Against:
    • Strengthening laws in IVF clinics (to consider need for father and mother)
    • Ban on hybrid embryos
    • House of lords reform (100% elected lords)

Diane Abbott

MP for  Hackney North and Stoke Newington

  • Britain’s first black MP
  • Wants to rebuild ‘party democracy’ and rebuild the party
  • Voted against the Iraq war

  • Believes in:
    • Legalising abortion in Northern Ireland
    • Civil Liberties
    • Supporting child migrants rights
    • Tackling crime (gun crime in particular)
    • Improving education
    • Improving local transport services
    • Enabling local people greater involvement during the olympics

  • Against:
    • Legal Aid reform
    • Privatisation of Healthcare
    • National DNA database
    • Offensive pornographic materials in newsagents

Andy Burnham

MP for Leigh

  • From Merseyside
  • First attended meetings at 14 years old
  • Voted for the Iraq invasion

  • Believes in
    • Reconnecting Labour
    • (free) National care service for the elderly
    • Save the future jobs fund
    • Power to detain terror suspects for 90 days without charge
    • House of lords reform (100% elected lords)
    • Identity cards
    • Ban on fox hunting
    • Allowing unmarried and gay couples to adopt
    • Stricter asylum system
  • Against
    • Voted against the investigation into Iraq war
    • Laws to stop climate change

David Miliband

  • Attended state school
  • Younger brother to Ed Miliband
  • First foreign secretary to write a blog
  • ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme

  • Believes in:
    • Fox hunting ban
    • Wholly elected house of lords
    • Gay rights
    • Id cards
    • Stricter asylum system
    • Labour should be guided by three ‘big ideas’
      • ‘Ensure people have the power to shape their destiny’
      • ‘Providing people with the security they need’
      • ‘Cherishing sense of belonging’
  • Against
    • Israel’s invasion of Lebanon
    • The investigation into the Iraq war
    • Laws to stop climate change
    • Renewing trident

Ed Miliband

MP for Doncaster North

  • Joined the Labour party in the 1980s
  • Older brother to David Miliband

  • Believes in
    • Living wage
    • 50p top tax rate
    • Gay rights
    • Anti terrorism laws
    • Entirely elected house of lords
    • EU integration
    • ID cards

  • Against
    • The investigation into the Iraq war
    • Reduction in abortion time limit (24 to 22 weeks)
    • Strengthen IVF clinic laws (need for mother and father)
    • Ban on hybrid embryos

As the leadership contest progresses, we’ll be bringing you up-to-date news via our blog and Twitter. Don’t stay out of the loop – keep checking back for latest updates!