Thursday, 20 May 2010

Ed Balls and John McDonnell join Labour leadership contest

Yesterday the former Schools Sectary, Ed Balls announced his intention to stand for leader of the Labour Party. Launching his campaign in the Midlands, he said "I'm going to put my name in for the Labour party leadership. I think it's really important we don't just talk to ourselves, we've got to hear what the country's got to say". He added; "I think we've got to listen first, hear what the public say. That is what's going to be at the centrepiece of my campaign". Mr Balls, who is widely known as the former PM Gordon Brown's chief lieutenant, visited two marginal constituencies in the Midlands. Yesterday morning he was in Basildon, a seat that Labour needs to win back if it wants to win the next election. And yesterday afternoon he visited Gedling, a seat that Labour held against the odds.
On policy, Mr Balls said; "We want more young people from lower income backgrounds going to university. There were families in our constituency who were worried that the way tuition fees worked ... was a barrier in the way of them and people were saying, 'Why is the Labour government putting up a barrier?".
I myself have announced my own support for Ed Balls, but today the prominent blogger, Ellie Gellard wrote a piece in the Guardian, backing Mr Balls's bid for leader. It seems now that momentum could be building behind Ed Balls's bid for Leader of the Labour Party.

As well as the former Schools Sectary, the firebrand left-wing MP, John Mcdonell launched his campaign to lead the Labour Party yesterday. He launched his campaign at the annual conference of the Public and Commercial Services union in Brighton, calling for trade unions and party members to support his attempt to return Labour to its roots. He said, "I believe New Labour lost the moral basis of the Labour party as it was founded ... the creation of a fair and just and peaceful and equal society," McDonnell told the union. "Join me in that campaign to advance what I define, what you define, as socialism."
In a separate BBC News interview, the man that challenged Gordon Brown to the leadership in 2007, said of Balls and the Milibands: "They're all New Labour, they all supported policies like the Iraq war, privatisation, that eventually lost us the election. It's almost like it's a fight between the sons of Blair and the sons of Brown if it's just those on the ballot paper."