Labour leadership: Abbott sets out stall

Left-winger Diane Abbott yesterday launched her bid for the Labour leadership with a pledge to fight public-sector cuts and make bankers foot the bill for the financial crisis.

Confirming her candidacy with a speech in her London seat, Ms Abbott said Labour needed to look again at the "balance between public sector cuts and taxation" needed to balance the Government's books.

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It was "wrong in principle" for ordinary people to lose services and jobs because of a crisis they did not cause, she said. The only ethnic minority candidate in the leadership contest also said she believed incomers enriched areas like her Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency.