12 Aug 2015

Kendall, Burham, Cooper: leadership election ‘unreasonable’

The campaign managers for Labour leadership contenders Liz Kendall, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper write a joint letter complaining about the integrity of the process.

Labour leadership candidates (Getty)

Vernon Coaker (Yvette Cooper campaign), Michael Dugher (Andy Burnham campaign) and Toby Perkins (Liz Kendall campaign) expressed their concern in the joint letter to Labour HQ that the contact details of some 90,000 voters who have been signed up by their trade unions are being withheld.

According to the text of the letter published by Labour List, the three men say: “We are concerned that we will only receive accurate lists in around 10 day’s time, which hinders each campaign’s effort. It would appear unreasonable for an election to be taking place without the provision of a full list of voters.”

The letter adds “it is likely that people receiving their ballot details will vote within 48 hours of receiving them and so campaign teams will be hugely disadvantaged if they are not in receipt of the data until some five days later.”

Ballot papers are due to be sent out from 14 August.

The campaign team for front runner Jeremy Corbyn has denied suggestions that it might get preferential access to the data of union affiliated voters.

Read more: Jeremy Corbyn surges ahead with 32 point lead

The letter of complaint has been made public on the day that the deadline passed for people to register to vote in the leadership election. The deadline, which had originally been set for noon on Wednesday, was extended until 3pm after the Labour Party website crashed.

However the issue of whether people who do not support Labour are joining to vote for Jeremy Corbyn merely in order to undermine the party’s electoral chances does not get a mention in the letter.