Yvette Cooper: May will call an election this year and Labour must be ready

Labour will not have four years to sort itself out


Theresa May has repeatedly stated that she will not call an election before the end of 2016, but Labour’s Yvette Cooper doesn’t buy it.

Writing for LabourList, Cooper says that having shadowed May for many years, she knows how the new prime minister works.

“Those who think she is too risk averse are misjudging her – she does take risks, she just takes care to calculate them first. Nor is she too committed to an election in 2020 – I’ve watched her do many strategic u-turns over the years.”

The former shadow home secretary believes that May will work hard for the remainder of the summer, developing an EU negotiating strategy while maintaining that she has no intention of calling an election, so as not to raise expectations.

Once she has a clear strategy, assuming the early stages have gone well and the economy hasn’t tipped into recession, May will seek a clear electoral mandate to lead the discussions with the EU, probably before the end of the year.

Based on this assessment, Cooper warns that:

“Labour is kidding ourselves if we think we have four years to sort ourselves out – we need to be ready fast.”

She is among the majority of Labour MPs who believe that Jeremy Corbyn is not capable of leading the party to general election success, and in today’s article calls on his opponents to choose a single unity candidate.

Cooper, a former leadership contender who lost out to Corbyn last summer, said that ‘both [Angela Eagle and Owen Smith] are very talented and could do the job.’

“But I don’t want us to spend the next few months with the two of them arguing with each other, especially when on so many issues they agree. This should be sorted by the end of Monday.”

Eagle announced her challenge last Monday, and triggered a leadership election by gathering sufficient nominations.

Smith has mad clear that he will stand, but cancelled today’s official launch event out of respect for the victims of last night’s Nice attack.

Read the full article: Yvette Cooper: Both Eagle and Smith would be good leaders – but only one should go for it

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