|Shadow Minister for Social Care[a]|
|Assumed office |
9 April 2020
|Preceded by||Paula Sherriff|
7 October 2011 – 12 September 2015
|Preceded by||Emily Thornberry|
|Succeeded by||Barbara Keeley|
|Member of Parliament|
for Leicester West
|Assumed office |
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Patricia Hewitt|
Elizabeth Louise Kendall
11 June 1971
Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, England
|Alma mater||Queens' College, Cambridge|
Kendall was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, where she read history. From 2011 to 2015, she served as Shadow Minister for Care and Older People and was invited to attend meetings of the Shadow Cabinet. Kendall stood in the Labour Party leadership election in September 2015 following the resignation of Ed Miliband. She finished in last place. In April 2020, new Labour Leader Keir Starmer appointed Kendall Junior Shadow Minister for Social Care, outside the Shadow Cabinet.
Early life and career
Kendall was born and raised in the village of Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire, near Watford. Her father was a senior Bank of England official, and her mother was a primary school teacher. Her father was also a local Liberal councillor and her parents involved her in local campaigns as a child. Both of her parents are now active supporters of the Labour Party.
She attended Watford Grammar School for Girls, where she was Head Girl and a contemporary of Geri Halliwell and the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Priti Patel. After leaving school, she was accepted to read History at Queens' College, Cambridge, where she captained the women's football team, and graduated from Cambridge University with a first in 1993.
Kendall joined the Labour Party in 1992 and, after leaving university, worked for the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) where she became an associate director for health, social care and children's early years. In 1996, she became a political adviser to Harriet Harman, and her special adviser in the Department for Social Security after the 1997 general election.
In 1998, when Harman was sacked from the government, Kendall resigned and was awarded a fellowship by the King's Fund, a health charity. She also wrote a series of research papers for the IPPR and was appointed as the Director of the Maternity Alliance, a charity for pregnant women. She was unsuccessful in an attempt to be selected as Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Chesterfield at the 2001 general election, following the retirement of Tony Benn.
In 2001, she returned to government to work for Patricia Hewitt, at the Department for Trade and Industry, and then followed her to the Department for Health where she was involved in bringing in the smoking ban in 2006. After Hewitt left government, Kendall became the Director of the Ambulance Services Network, where she remained until 2010.
In 2010 Kendall was elected as MP for Leicester West with a majority of 4,017 despite a 7.6% swing away from Labour. She made her maiden speech in a debate on tackling poverty in the UK on 10 June 2010. She was briefly a member of the Education Select Committee between July 2010 and October 2010. She supported David Miliband for the leadership of the Labour Party in 2010.
In Ed Miliband's first reshuffle in October 2010, she joined the Opposition frontbench as Shadow Junior Health Minister where she served under John Healey. In 2011, she contributed along with other Labour MPs and former Labour ministers to The Purple Book, in which she wrote a chapter on the early years and health and social care where she proposed a "Teach Early Years First" scheme. Later that year, she was appointed to the new role of Shadow Minister for Care and Older People and became an attending member of the shadow cabinet. She was re-elected in the 2015 general election, and was reported as being a member of the Breakfast Club; along with Chuka Umunna, Tristram Hunt and Emma Reynolds.
Labour Party leadership candidature
On 10 May 2015, Kendall announced that she was standing as a successor to Ed Miliband for the Labour Party's leadership following its defeat in the general election a few days earlier. Kendall was regarded by many in the media as the Blairite candidate, though Kendall stated she would like to be known as the "modernising candidate". In mid-June, Kendall secured the 35 nominations needed for a place in the leadership ballot.
Her leadership bid was supported by Shadow Cabinet colleagues Ivan Lewis, Chuka Umunna, Tristram Hunt, Emma Reynolds and Gloria De Piero. Senior Labour politicians supporting her included Alan Milburn, Alistair Darling, John Hutton and John Reid.
On 19 May 2015, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins was appointed as her leadership election campaign manager. Her campaign director was Morgan McSweeney, head of the LGA Labour Group. Her director of strategic communications was Mark Ferguson, former editor of LabourList. Other members of her campaign team included Hopi Sen, Margaret McDonagh and Tony Blair's former press spokesman Matthew Doyle. She also had the support of the Blue Labour Group within the Labour Party including figures such as Maurice Glasman and Rowenna Davis.
In June 2015, Kendall's leadership bid received praise from The Sun, who said that she is the "only prayer they [the Labour Party] have". The Sun also praised her for saying "the country comes first" in response to Andy Burnham who said "the Labour Party always comes first" in the Newsnight Labour leadership hustings. Commentators from across the political spectrum said that Kendall was the leadership candidate the Conservatives would "fear the most". This claim was even re-stated by some Conservative politicians including George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Ruth Davidson, Anna Soubry and Philip Davies.
Kendall finished 4th in the election, obtaining 4.5% (18,857) of the vote.
Resignation from the Shadow Cabinet
Kendall resigned from the Shadow Cabinet following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in September 2015. She supported Owen Smith in the failed attempt to replace Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party leadership election. One year later James Chapman, former Director of Communications at HM Treasury under George Osborne, said, "We really need Liz Kendall to be the leader of [a] new centre party." Chapman had already tweeted his proposals for a new centrist political party opposed to Brexit, 'The Democrats'. After stepping down from frontline politics, Kendall was a regular guest on BBC current affairs programme This Week until its cancellation in July 2019.
Return to frontbench
Keir Starmer reappointed her to the frontbench after winning the 2020 Labour leadership election. After the November 2021 shadow cabinet reshuffle, it was announced that Karin Smyth will cover her duties while Kendall is on maternity leave.
Economic and fiscal policy
Kendall has argued that Labour should be "genuinely as passionate about wealth creation as we are about wealth redistribution" and her party should not just understand business but be "the champion of people who take a risk, create something and make a success of it". Kendall has also said that there is "nothing progressive about racking up debts for the next generation" and it is wrong to spend more on debt interest repayments than on education. Kendall has given support to George Osborne's plan to enshrine in law an overall budget surplus during "normal times" but has called for more detail on the proposals. Kendall has also said that the last Labour government was wrong to run a deficit before the financial crash but that it did not cause the crash.
Kendall has also committed herself to the living wage and said the Low Pay Commission's remit should be extended to encourage more firms to pay it and has said she would end the exploitation of care workers by preventing firms from docking the cost of uniform and travel time from their wages. She has also come out in support of worker representation on company boards as part of her plans for economic reform. After the Budget, Kendall commissioned her supporter, the former minister Margaret Hodge, to undertake a review into the £100bn tax reliefs that firms are entitled to.
Defence and foreign policy
Kendall is a pro-European and has spoken in favour of reforming the European Union. She supported an in/out referendum on Britain's membership of the EU, and wanted the Labour Party to play a leading role in a cross-party Yes to Europe campaign. Kendall also backed the NATO target to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence. She is in favour of renewing Britain's Trident nuclear submarines. Kendall supports a two-state solution, but she abstained on a motion recognising the State of Palestine, instead favouring the continuation of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. She is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.
Kendall has spoken about education as a way of tackling inequality. She has spoken in support of expanding the academies programme and keeping the free schools initiative saying that focus should be on the quality of education rather than structures and that investment in the early years should be a priority over cutting university tuition fees. Kendall also said that more effort was needed in the education system to raise aspiration for the 'white working class young'. Kendall has also said that as Prime Minister, she would order a review of National Lottery Funding to free up funds for early years services.
Health and welfare
Kendall has advocated increased patient choice in the NHS, arguing "there will remain a role for the private and voluntary sectors where they can add extra capacity to the NHS or challenges to the system" and with healthcare providers "what matters is what works".
In 2015, Kendall supported the £23,000 benefit cap.
Kendall gave some support to David Cameron's proposal that the right of EU migrants to claim tax credits and benefits should be withdrawn, or delayed for a number of years. She supports the current points-based immigration system and backed tough rules on abuse of the immigration system but has pledged not to try and "out-UKIP UKIP" and spoke of the benefits of immigration in her own constituency.
Kendall has supported "radical devolution" to England to deal with the West Lothian Question and appointed Tristram Hunt to look at what powers ought to be devolved to England. In July 2015, Kendall came out in favour of English Votes for English Laws. Her leadership rivals favoured the formation of a constitutional convention to consider the issue. Kendall has also said that Labour must oppose the 'tyranny of the bureaucratic state' but must also share power at every level so that powers are devolved to communities and individuals too.
Kendall has supported Labour's links with the trade union movement but has said that both the trade unions and the Labour Party have to change. Kendall said that if she became Prime Minister, she would reverse any changes to trade union and employment rights made by the previous Conservative government. Kendall also criticised Len McCluskey for threatening to withdraw funding from the Labour Party were his choice of candidate not to be elected.
Kendall is a supporter of LGBT rights and voted for gay marriage in 2013. Kendall has said that, under her leadership, the Labour Party would work with other centre-left parties to end the criminalisation of homosexuality across the world and she has spoken in favour of Michael Cashman becoming the UK's special envoy on LGBTI issues.
Kendall was previously in a relationship with the actor and comedian Greg Davies. They ended their relationship a few months before the 2015 general election. In November 2021 Kendall announced she would take maternity leave in 2022 as she would be having a baby through surrogacy. She and her partner welcomed their son Henry in January 2022.
- Care and Older People (2011–15)
- "The NHS Confederation Group Company Limited". Dellam Corporate Information. 15 March 2010. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- Staff writer. "Ed Miliband promotes fresh faces to Labour top team". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- Staff writer (10 May 2015). "Liz Kendall confirms Labour leadership bid". BBC News. Archived from the original on 4 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- Wintour, Patrick; Mason, Rowena (10 September 2015). "Voting closes in Labour leadership election". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
- Prince, Rosa (27 May 2015). "Liz Kendall: full story of the outsider who became the Labour leadership candidate with the 'mo'". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- Pollard, Stephen (16 April 2001). "Hating Tony Blair: with a general election imminent, publishers are eagerly issuing condemnations of new Labour..." New Statesman. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "Biography page". lizkendall.org. Liz Kendall. Archived from the original on 11 May 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "Liz Kendall profile". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- "Liz Kendall". Parliament UK. Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Tackling Poverty in the UK". TheyWorkForYou. 10 June 2010. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
- Merrick, Jane (25 January 2015). "Labour party leadership: Blairite Liz Kendall emerges as a fresh rival to Ed Miliband". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Watt, Holly (1 February 2015). "Blairite MP Liz Kendall emerges as favourite in Labour leadership stakes". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Shipman, Tim (10 May 2015). "Blairite Liz in race to be Labour leader". Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- Mason, Rowena (21 May 2015). "Liz Kendall: Labour must ditch 'fantasy' that Britain has moved to the left". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
- Lewis, Ivan (25 May 2015). "Why I'm backing Liz Kendall for Labour leader". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Umunna, Chuka (26 May 2015). "Why we are endorsing Liz Kendall for the Labour leadership". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Hope, Christopher (20 May 2015). "Tristram Hunt endorses Liz Kendall for Labour leader". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Jones, Callum (21 July 2015). "Liz Kendall turns photographer . . . and focuses on red tape". The Times. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Staff writer (24 June 2015). "Milburn backs Kendall for Labour leadership". Sky News. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Darling, Alastair (19 July 2015). "Why I'm backing Liz Kendall for Labour leader". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Blanchard, Jack (8 June 2015). "Labour leader hopeful Liz Kendall gets tough on stripping EU migrants of tax credits". The Mirror. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Reid, John (5 July 2015). "If Labour wants to win in 2020, it must choose Liz Kendall as leader". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 August 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Wintour, Patrick (15 June 2015). "In the running: profiles of the four Labour leadership candidates". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Staff writer (19 May 2015). "Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins campaigns for Kendall for Labour leadership". Derbyshire Times. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- Allegretti, Aubrey (17 June 2015). "The Sun backs Liz Kendall for Labour leadership after Nuneaton hustings... sort of". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 12 August 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- Liddle, Rod (16 June 2015). "Forget Jeremy Corbyn, I'm backing Liz Kendall for Labour leader (blog)". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
- "Liz Kendall claims she will be the Labour leader the Tories fear". The News Hub. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
- Nelson, Fraser (21 June 2015). "Diane Abbott's car-crash Sunday Politics interview shows the depth of Labour's denial (blog)". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
- Bloom, Dan (9 September 2015). "George Osborne claims Labour leadership race has ruined 'a generation's work'". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- Cowley, Jason (September 2015). "George Osborne: read the full Q&A". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 13 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- Settle, Michael. "Davidson: Corbyn is neo-Marxist in Breton cap talking 1970s politics". The Herald (Glasgow). Archived from the original on 27 November 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- Singleton, David (24 June 2015). "Philip Davies: 'One thing David and I agree on is that I should not be promoted'". Total Politics. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Stone, Jon (26 January 2016). "Liz Kendall says she lost the Labour leadership election because she was the 'eat your greens' candidate". The Independent. Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Larner, Tony (13 September 2015). "Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood resigns Shadow Cabinet after election of Jeremy Corbyn". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Pope, Conor (21 July 2016). "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
- Myers, Rupert (16 August 2017). "James Chapman is the Rogue One of remainers". GQ. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- Gilchrist, Karen (14 August 2017). "'Democrat' party may be launched in the UK to fight Brexit". CNBC. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- "Tweet from Wes Streeting, announcing the new Shadow H&SC team". Twitter. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
- Staff writer (12 August 2015). "What is Liz Kendall's programme for government?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 4 July 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Riley-Smith, Ben (5 June 2015). "Every major Labour leadership candidate backs Trident renewal". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- Stone, Jon (21 July 2015). "Labour should not have voted to recognise Palestine, says leadership candidate Liz Kendall". The Independent. Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
- Sparrow, Andrew (21 May 2015). "Liz Kendall says Labour should champion wealth creation". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- Mason, Rowena. "Liz Kendall 'will back white working-class young'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
- Merrick, Jane (4 July 2015). "Liz Kendall to order National Lottery funding review if she becomes new Labour leader". The Independent. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
- Rentoul, John (13 February 2013). "Labour finds its voice on NHS reform". The Independent. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Demianyk, Graeme (2 July 2015). "Labour leadership candidate Liz Kendall aays back benefits reform or face 'decades' out of power". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 13 December 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Hope, Christopher (7 June 2015). "Blairite Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall backs taking benefits away from EU migrants". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- Stone, Jon (18 June 2015). "Liz Kendall says she wants an Australian-style points-based immigration system". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- Grice, Andrew (3 July 2015). "Liz Kendall urges Labour to embrace 'English votes for English laws'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 5 April 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Gage, Christopher (24 May 2015). "Liz Kendall: England needs radical devolution". politicshome.com. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- Kendall, Liz; Nandy, Lisa (26 March 2015). "People power should be front and centre in Labour's new political vision". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 6 May 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- Kendall, Liz (19 May 2015). "A letter from a trade unionist to Britain's trade unionists". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
- Staff writer (24 May 2015). "Liz Kendall: We have a duty to push LGBTI equality worldwide". Gay Star News. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- Saner, Emine (20 May 2015). "Greg Davies Interview". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
- Macintyre, Donald (22 May 2015). "Liz Kendall: Is Labour's smart, articulate rising star the heir to Tony Blair?". The Independent. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- Richardson, Hannah (24 November 2021). "Leicester MP Liz Kendall to take leave as she embarks on exciting new role - motherhood". Leicester Live. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
- Jackson, Siba (22 January 2022). "Labour MP Liz Kendall 'bursting with love and happiness' after welcoming son Henry via surrogate". Sky News. Retrieved 22 January 2022.