Yvette Cooper backed to be new Labour party leader

Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper

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Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper has refused to rule out whether she is standing to be the leader of the Labour party.

The party’s former leader Ed Miliband resigned on Friday following the party’s general election result.

Labour lost 56 seats in Scotland to the Scottish National Party and won almost 100 less seats across the UK than the Conservatives.

Speculation has been rife since Mr Miliband’s resignation and bookies’ favourite Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis ruled himself out on Sunday.

Ms Cooper, who remains as shadow home secretary, is now the bookies’ third favourite to be the next leader of the party, with Streatham MP Chuka Umunna and Andy Burnham ahead of her in the running.

When asked if she was standing Ms Cooper said: “I am not talking about any of that right now. I think the immediate priority for us as a party is to address the issues from the election result.

“I am not going to speak about whether I am standing or am not standing or whether I would like to.”

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said he hoped she would stand and said he thought she would be a “great leader.”

Coun Box said: “Of course I would support Yvette. I think she would be a great leader for the party and a great Prime Minister come 2020.

“She has all the characteristics and traits that are needed and I have seen her with people in the community and she understands them.

“I think she has great enthusiasm and I think in 2020 she would make Labour’s case very well. It would be great to have a woman leader too.”