Labour hopeful Liz vows to carry on fighting during visit to Yorkshire

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Her Labour leadership rival Jeremy Corbyn has been getting near rock star treatment at rallies attended by hundreds of people.

Liz Kendall’s visit to Leeds today as part of a national campaigning tour was, by contrast, a rather more restrained affair.

Her speech and question-and-answer session in the historic surroundings of Leeds Art Gallery’s Tiled Hall Café drew an audience of a few dozen Labour members and supporters.

But, speaking after the event to The Yorkshire Post, Ms Kendall vowed to continue taking the fight to left-winger and frontrunner Mr Corbyn as well as the other leadership hopefuls.

She said: “Without doubt he’s a long way ahead, I’m a long way behind, but you have got to have the guts and courage to campaign for what you believe in.

“He’s doing really well, he’s in the front position at the moment but I think [a Corbyn victory] would be wrong for the party and wrong for the country and I won’t stop making my case to as many people as I can.”

Ms Kendall’s arrival in this morning’s sunshine was greeted by cheers from the placard-carrying faithful on the steps of the art gallery.

Inside, the Leicester West MP took questions on subjects ranging from foreign policy and transport to council housing and her “pigeonholing” as the contest’s Blairite candidate.

Ms Kendall told The Yorkshire Post it had been “really interesting” to hear the audience’s views on Labour’s election defeat, with one person accusing the party of failing to defend its record in government and another saying it had not seemed sufficently bothered about the careful use of taxpayers’ money.

She said: “I know I don’t have the numbers of Jeremy Corbyn but this is my job and I will continue to do it right to the end and I really hope the views and voices of party members here are heard as well as all of the people at those big rallies because you don’t often hear that in the media.”

People in the audience today included 65-year-old Martin Bartholomew, from Middleton, Leeds.

He said he had not decided who to back in the contest but praised Ms Kendall for taking her campaign on the road.

Mr Bartholomew added: “It’s good to see them face-to-face rather than just read what they have to say in a prepared pamphlet.”

Ms Kendall and Mr Corbyn’s fellow leadership contenders are Andy Burnham and Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper.

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