UK Politics

Labour leadership: Mary Creagh enters race

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Media captionMary Creagh MP: ''We lost the trust of middle-income families and working-class families''

Shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh has declared her candidacy for the Labour leadership.

After announcing a bid to succeed Ed Miliband via a Daily Mail article, the Wakefield MP told the BBC her party must "win back trust" on the economy.

Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall have already declared their intention to stand.

Meanwhile, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has told BBC's Question Time he is "interested" in the role.

He said he would speak to party members on Friday.

Another potential candidate is Copeland MP Jamie Reed, who had a health brief under Mr Miliband. Talking to BBC Radio 5 live on Thursday, he repeated suggestions he was considering a bid.

Candidates must secure nominations from 34 colleagues - 15% of the party's MPs - by 15 June to make it on to ballot papers, which will be sent to members in August ahead of the leader's election a month later.

'Town hall experience'

Ms Creagh is the least high-profile of the candidates to declare so far but - as shadow environment secretary - took on the coalition government over the horsemeat crisis and attempts to sell off England's state-owned woodlands.

She told the BBC Labour had failed to speak to people about "how they could win in the global race" and that her background of 10 years in business and "real experience of town hall Labour" could help win over voters.

"We have got to look at those areas which trust Labour to run their council services but where they chose not to put their trust in us to run the country," she said.

"We have to earn back the trust of large swathes of middle England who didn't trust us to run the economy for them and also to win back voters who chose the Scottish National Party... and large swathes of our industrial heartlands who chose UKIP."

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Media captionYvette Cooper: "We've got to have optimism for the future"

Ms Creagh's decision to stand came after shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper set out her case for Labour's future, cautioning against going "back to remedies of the past, be that of Tony Blair or Gordon Brown" because the world had changed.

"We've got to have a much bolder vision for our future, much bigger ambitions for people in this country," she told the BBC.

"If this leadership election is just about the Labour Party, that is not going to answer the real concerns families across the country have about their future."

Shadow health secretary Mr Burnham had announced his intention to stand via a video, arguing: "Our challenge is not to go left or right, to focus on one part of the country above another, but to rediscover the beating heart of Labour.

"That is about the aspirations of everyone, speaking to them like we did in 1997."


Mr Umunna, the shadow business secretary, has said the party must address the aspirations of people "all the way up the income chain", while shadow care minister Ms Kendall has suggested Labour lost the election "because people didn't trust us on the economy".

Labour must also choose a new deputy leader to replace Harriet Harman, who has said she will not seek re-election to the post.

Stella Creasy, Tom Watson, Angela Eagle and Caroline Flint are thought to be in the running.

Under rules agreed last year, all Labour Party members, registered supporters and affiliated supporters - including union members - will be allowed one vote each in the leadership contest.

The ballot will close on 10 September, with the new leader announced two days later. Labour's annual conference begins on 27 September.

Labour leadership timetable

15 May: The formal election period opens

8 June: Parliamentary Labour Party will stage hustings for the contenders

9 June: More hustings for the deputy leader contenders. Nominations for both posts open.

15 June: Nominations for leader will close at midday

17 June: Nominations for their deputy will close at midday

12 August: Deadline for new party members to be eligible to vote

14 August: Ballot papers sent out by post

10 September: Polling closes at midday

12 September: Winners announced at special conference

27 September: Labour's party conference begins

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