Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins campaigns for Kendall for Labour leadership

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has been appointed as a Labour party leadership campaign manager for his friend and popular Midlands-based candidate Liz Kendall.

Fresh from an emphatic General Election constituency victory, Mr Perkins said he was very pleased to be asked to take the campaign manager role alongside his work for the town and borough.

He told the Derbyshire Times: “She is the fresh start we need for the Labour Party after the national defeat to the Conservatives who are now in Government.

“I have known Liz along time. She was a short-listed Parliamentary candidate in 2001 in Chesterfield to replace Tony Benn and came second to Reg Race at that time and she is now the MP for Leicester West.

“Despite the huge success in Chesterfield we have to recognise we have had a catastrophic defeat nationally but Liz has the ability to rebuild the Party in a number of different directions.

“I believe she will help win back votes in Scotland and will appeal to aspirational voters who felt the Party’s message had been too gloomy and centred too much on one section of society. We need someone who can show the Party’s positive vision for the future and she’s the pick of the bunch.”

Labour front bencher Ms Kendall, who is MP for Leicester West, will be one of five MPs vying to become the Shadow cabinet Labour leader.

She is the Shadow Minister for Care and Older People and has worked as Director of the Ambulance Service Network and campaigned as Director of the Maternity Alliance charity.

Ms Kendall prides herself on work with the Institute for Public Policy Research and as an adviser with the last Labour Government. Other leadership candidates include Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Mary Creagh and Tristram Hunt.