Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham yesterday joined Liz Kendall and Chuka Umunna in the race to replace Ed Miliband, with the leader to be announced on September 12 before the Labour Party’s annual conference.
And the leadership battle could heat up with Tristram Hunt the only other widely touted rival yet to announce his candidacy.
As former health secretary Alan Milburn called for a leader from the “new generation” of MPs, the contenders, all of whom served in the last Labour government or Mr Miliband’s shadow cabinet, have started offering their views on how the party should move forward.
Ms Cooper pledged to make life better for families while rejecting calls to rehash the formula for success developed by treble election winner Tony Blair.
In contrast Mr Burnham signalled that he wanted to return the party to Mr Blair’s approach of speaking for the whole country and appealing to people’s aspirations.
Ms Kendall offered a sharp deviation from Mr Miliband’s comments during the election campaign and admitted Labour spent too much in the latter days of its time in government.
Mr Umunna has set out ambitions to win back voters in the south east of England and return Labour to office within five years.
All the potential leaders will be honing their messages ahead of the first Parliamentary Labour Party hustings on June 8.
The long race for the leadership will end when ballots close on September 10, with the winner to be announced two days later at a special conference.
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