Yvette awaits her Labour leader fate

Yvette Cooper.
Yvette Cooper.

Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper claims she is the only candidate ‘strong enough’ to lead Labour as she awaits the results of the party’s leadership vote.

Voting in the contest closed at noon today after a campaign of more than 100 days.

Ms Cooper and fellow candidates Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall will find out their fate at a special conference on Saturday September 12.

Ms Cooper said: “It’s been a great campaign and it’s been a really busy one.

“We have been all over the country from Scotland to Wales and have had a great response.

“I honestly think I am the best person to lead the party. We, as a party, need some one strong enough to take on the Tories because that is a tough job. “

Mr Corbyn has been listed as the bookmakers’ favourite in the contest but Ms Cooper said the party needed to win back support it lost in the General Election in May.

She said: “I think I’m strong enough and also the right person to win back the support we lost in the General Election in May.

“I think I have got a good chance. Everybody has been saying Jeremy is ahead but I think we have been catching him up week by week.”

Ms Cooper said a lot of her key campaigns have been driven by people living in Pontefract, Castleford and Normanton.

She said: “My campaign has including fighting for more high-tech, well paid jobs - that idea came from a worker at Ferrybridge Power Station.

“I also want to fight for more free child care - that comes from the fight to keep Butterfly’s Children Centre in Normanton.

“Finally, I am driven by the disappointment at the election in May - where I think we let people down.”

Ms Cooper said if she won she would work to create new jobs across the country.

She said: “I think we have got to be thinking about how we can get jobs for the future and how we make sure working families get a better deal. A lot of people in May thought Labour would create jobs but didn’t know the detail.”