|Shadow Minister for Care and Older People|
7 October 2011
Harriet Harman (Acting)
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Member of Parliament
for Leicester West
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Patricia Hewitt|
|Born||Elizabeth Louise Kendall
11 June 1971
Abbots Langley, United
|Alma mater||Queens' College, Cambridge|
Elizabeth Louise "Liz" Kendall (born 11 June 1971) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester West since 2010. In 2011 she was appointed Shadow Minister for Care and Older People and invited to attend meetings of the Shadow Cabinet. On 10 May 2015, Kendall announced she would stand to be Leader of the Labour Party in the leadership election initiated following the resignation of Ed Miliband.
Early life and career
Kendall was born and brought up in the village of Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire near Watford. Her father left school at 16 and worked his way up to become 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 got her involved 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 cabinet minister Priti Patel. She then read History at Queens' College, Cambridge, where she captained the ladies' football team, and graduated with a first in 1993.
Kendall joined the Labour Party in 1992, and after leaving university worked for the Institute for Public Policy Research where she became an associate director for health, social care and children’s early years. In 1996, she became a political adviser for Harriet Harman, and her special adviser in the Department for Social Security after the 1997 election. In 1998, when Harman was sacked from the Government, Kendall left the government and was awarded a fellowship of the King's Fund, a health charity, and wrote a series of research papers for the IPPR and was appointed as the Director of the Maternity Alliance, a charity for expectant mothers. She was unsuccessful in an attempt to be selected as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Chesterfield for the 2001 general election.
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. In the 2015 general election she increased her majority, achieving a 4.8% swing from Conservative to Labour against a national swing of 0.3% in the same direction.
Labour Party leadership
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 is regarded by some as the Blairite candidate and by others as the "modernising candidate". In mid-June, Kendall secured the 35 nominations needed to be guaranteed a place on the leadership ballot.
Her leadership bid is supported by Shadow Cabinet colleagues Ivan Lewis, Chuka Umunna, Tristram Hunt, Emma Reynolds and Gloria de Piero. Labour grandees supporting her include 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 is Morgan McSweeney, head of the LGA Labour Group. Her director of strategic communications is Mark Ferguson, former editor of LabourList. Other members of her campaign team include Hopi Sen, Margaret McDonagh and Tony Blair's former press spokesman Matthew Doyle. She also has 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 have said that Kendall is the leadership candidate that the Conservatives "fear the most".
Economic and fiscal policy
Kendall has argued that Labour should be 'genuinely as passionate about wealth creation as we are about wealth redistribution' and that 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'd end the exploitation of care workers by preventing firms from ducking 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 Margaret Hodge to do a review into the £100bn tax reliefs that firms are entitled to and said that although some tax reliefs are needed for foreign investment, she would scrap unnecessary reliefs in order to end the public sector pay freeze.
Defence and foreign policy
Kendall is a strong pro-European and has spoken in favour of reforming the European Union. She supports an early in/out referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. Kendall has also said that she wants 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 submarine based continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent. 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.
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 in order to free up funds for early years services.
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". She also has spoken in support of integration of health and social care budgets into a single system and increased use of personal budgets so that patients have more control over their own health.
Kendall was the first leadership candidate to support the £23,000 benefit cap although she has raised concerns about the effects in some urban areas but has also said that the welfare system has failed too many people including people who can work but are not in work and those who can't work. She also gave some support to the idea of a more contributory system for welfare.
Kendall has given 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 has spoken in favour of 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 spoken in favour of 'radical devolution' to England in order to deal with the West Lothian Question and appointed Tristram Hunt to look at what powers ought to be devolved to England. In July, Kendall came out in favour of English Votes for English Laws. Her leadership rivals favour 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. She also come out in favour of an English Labour Party, as part of a wider British Labour Party, just as there is a Scottish Labour Party and Welsh Labour Party.
Kendall has come out in support of Labour's links with the trade union movement but has said that both the trade unions and the Labour Party have to change. Kendall has said that if she becomes Prime Minister, she would reverse the Conservatives' changes to trade union and employment rights. Kendall has 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 strong 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 spoken in favour of Michael Cashman becoming the UK's special envoy on LGBTI issues. According to commentators, this has become a contentious issue in the leadership election as her rival, Andy Burnham, has "questions to answer on his record."
On the abortion issue, Kendall is pro-choice and opposed an amendment tabled by Fiona Bruce on sex-selective abortions because the amendment would have put the phrase "the unborn child" into legislation on the subject.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Liz Kendall.|
- Liz Kendall MP official constituency website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament
for Leicester West
|New office||Shadow Minister for Care and Older People