Cooper vows to fight for every last vote in leadership battle

Labour leadership condender Yvette Cooper in Norwich addressing members of the Norwich South branch.

Labour leadership condender Yvette Cooper in Norwich addressing members of the Norwich South branch. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Yvette Cooper has vowed to fight for every vote until the last minute during a visit to Norwich.

The Labour Party leadership hopeful warned the party must not veer left or right in its quest for power after it failed to win over Conservative and UKIP voters in East Anglia in the election.

She spoke to more than 100 activists at an event chaired by backer Euro MP Richard Howitt at the Lansdowne Hotel on Thorpe Road.

Activists told her Labour had overlooked education in the last election and quizzed her on how she would handle the migrant crisis and vote on proposals for military action in Syria.

She told the audience that MPs should see the Chilcot Report into the Iraq War before deciding on whether military action should be taken in Syria.

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Ms Cooper, who is married to former Labour MP Ed Balls, joked that visits to Norwich usually involved visiting her in-laws when there was a Norwich City home fixture.

She said: 'There are still a lot of people who are deciding and I am going to keep fighting for every vote to the last minute.'

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She said that people were 'frustrated and angry' that Labour had lost the last election and wanted change.

But she warned: 'If we think we can be a narrow party and veer to the left or a narrow party and veer to the right that is not going to work. We have got to be able to reach out.'

City councillor Keith Driver told her there was no use dismissing people who said they were going to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, asking how she would capitalise on the growing membership of the party and how she would give them more authority in the constituency.

When asked about the comparison to the 1,000-strong turn-out for her rival when he came to Norwich she insisted that more than 1,000 people had come to her events over the weekend and that she had had lots of nominations from parties across East Anglia.

'The decision people have to make is who they want as Labour prime minister and I think it is really important we don't rip up our chances of winning the next elections and we are both true to our values and strong enough to win as well,' she added.

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