UK Politics

Liz Kendall calls newspaper weight question 'unbelievable'

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Media captionLiz Kendall: "I cannot wait for a world where women are judged the same as men"

Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall has said it is "unbelievable" she was asked about her weight in an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Journalist Simon Walters wrote that she "looks about the same weight as the Duchess [of Cambridge] - about 8st - though when I ask she slaps me down".

Ms Kendall told the BBC she "cannot wait for a world when women are judged the same as men".

She questioned whether the paper would ask the weight of a male politician.

Leicester West MP Ms Kendall is running against Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership.

Asked on BBC Radio 5 live's Pienaar's Politics about the Mail on Sunday interview, she said: "I just think it's unbelievable that in the 21st Century women still get asked such very, very different questions from men.

"Can you imagine the Mail on Sunday asking the weight of the prime minister, George Osborne or any other leading politician?

"I cannot wait for a world when women are judged the same as men and not by those kinds of questions."

In 2014, Mr Walters did raise the subject of weight with the chancellor in another Mail on Sunday interview.

He wrote: "It is impossible not to notice his dramatic weight loss. He is a real skinny malink. 'Am I?' he says, modestly patting his slim line waist."

Mr Osborne went on to describe how he had "lost a couple of stone" on the 5:2 diet.

Earlier, Ms Kendall and the other three Labour leadership contenders clashed over public spending, welfare cuts and what they would do to make the party electable in a BBC Sunday Politics debate.

Ms Cooper and Mr Burnham disagreed over whether the Labour government spent too much before the 2007 banking crash. Ms Kendall said Blairite had become a "term of abuse" in Labour and accused Jeremy Corbyn of "fantasy" politics.

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