It seems somebody, at least, has been listening to what Labour’s grassroots supporters are saying.
But is Yvette Cooper just paying lip-service to concerns over statements by Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall, or does she mean what she’s saying?
We need to see far more commitment to Labour Party values – from all of them.
Speaking on the BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, Cooper attempted to draw a distinction between her approach and those of the two other main hopefuls, Andy Burnham and Kendall, who have been quicker to ditch former leader Ed Miliband’s election policies.
Although Burnham has been seen as the favoured candidate of Labour’s left, Cooper appeared to be making a pitch to some of his potential supporters by making it clear that she would keep Labour’s policy of bringing back a 50p top rate of income tax.
“I think it is the right thing to do right now, yes, because the deficit is still coming down, it’s still too high, it’s got to come down and as part of bringing it down we should have a fair system to do so,” she said.
Cooper also warned against those using stigmatising language about benefit claimants, just days after Burnham talked about the need to address the perception that Labour gives an “easy ride” to those who want something for nothing.
She said she supported the principle of a benefit cap but had reservations about the effect of a £23,000 limit on people living in London in particular. “What I won’t do though is fall into what I think is a Tory trap of using language that stigmatises those who are not working. I don’t think that is about Labour values,” she said.