What You Need To Know About The Labour Leadership Candidates

What you need to know about the Labour candidates in 7 questions or less...

We were all election-ed out in May after one of the most nerve racking UK General Elections to date. However, for the past few weeks our social media feeds, TV screens and news outlets have been bombarded with information on the 2015 Labour leadership candidates. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that the race to be the leader of the Labour Party is coming to an end between four candidates (2 men AND 2 women, hurrah!), and if you were a member, registered supporter or affiliated supporter of the Labour Party before 3pm the Wednesday just gone, you will be able to vote in the leadership elections. 
But if you’re unsure of just who the candidates are, here’s a quick breakdown… 

Name: Jeremy Corbyn

Occupation: MP for Islington North since 1983

What was he before he was an MP? A full-time organiser for the National Union of Public Employees and was elected to Haringey council for a decade. 

Things Jeremy has voted FOR in Parliament: Gay rights, the smoking ban, same-sex marriage, an investigation into Iraq war, a transparent Parliament, the bedroom tax, raising welfare benefits, higher taxes on alcohol and plane tickets.

Things Jeremy has voted AGAINST in Parliament: Increasing the rate of VAT, Labour’s anti-terrorism laws, a stricter asylum system, introducing ID cards.

Won any accolades? Recipient of the Ghandi International Peace Award, the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative honouree and ‘Beard of the Year.’

Known for: One of the MPs to claim the lowest amount of expenses in the 2009 expenses scandal. In 2010 he claimed the smallest amount of all 650 MPs. 

Name: Liz Kendall

Occupation: MP for Leicester West. Previously Shadow Minister for Care and Older People.

What was she before she was an MP? Director of the Ambulance Service Network, Director of the Maternity Alliance charity and worked for two think-tanks: the Institute for Public Policy Research, and the King’s Fund.

Things Liz voted FOR in Parliament: Stronger tax incentives for companies to invest in assets, greater autonomy for schools, a proportional system for electing MPs, more power for local councils, slowing the rise in rail fares.

Things Liz voted AGAINST in Parliament: Automatic enrolment into occupational pensions, raising the threshold at which people start to pay income tax, lower taxes on car fuel, academies.

Known for: Being the first leadership candidate to support the £23,000 benefit cap and for saying “the country comes first” in response to Andy Burnham who said “the Labour Party comes first” during the leadership debates. 

 Name: Andy Burnham

Occupation: MP for Leigh

What was he before he was an MP: Worked for the NHS Confederation and as an administrator for the Football Task Force. He then became a special advisor to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport until he became an MP in 2001.

Things Andy voted FOR in Parliament: University tuition fees, gay rights, the smoking ban, more EU integration, spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people, a banker’s bonus tax.

Things Andy voted AGAINST in Parliament: An investigation into the Iraq war, measure to reduce tax avoidance, transferring more power to Welsh Assembly, the introduction of ID cards.

Known for: Putting pressure on Prime Minister at the time, Gordon Brown, about raising the issue of the Hillsborough disaster in Parliament. The eventual result was the second Hillsborough inquiry.  

Name: Yvette Cooper

Occupation: MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford. Was also the the first female Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2008, Work and Pensions Secretary in 2009 and Shadow Home Secretary in 2011.

What was she before she was an MP: Economic policy researcher for Shadow Chancellor John Smith in 1990, worked for Presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992 and former chief economic correspondent for The Independent.

Things Yvette has voted FOR in Parliament: Gay rights, the smoking ban, the hunting ban, the Iraq war, for an elected House of Lords, more powers for the Welsh assembly.

Things Yvette has voted AGAINST in Parliament: An EU membership referendum, reduction in welfare benefits, raising income tax, raising university tuition fees.

Won any accolades? In 2013 she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour

Known for: Being the first minister to take maternity leave. She also wrote to the general manager of Twitter in 2013 after feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, and other several prominent women on Twitter, were receiving criminal threats, including rape threats.

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