back to top
Politics

This Is What It's Like To Make Phone Calls For Liz Kendall

The Labour leadership candidate is battling to the end – even if she has to try and convince some people that, yes, they really are speaking to Liz Kendall.

Posted on

There's only three days left for Labour supporters to vote in the party's leadership election. To celebrate, Liz Kendall invited the media to her office, where volunteers were making calls to try to drum up support.

First, a trickle of MPs joined a group of supporters to prove the campaign is working.

Siraj Datoo / BuzzFeed News

Kendall was joined by shadow cabinet members such as Emma Reynolds, Tristram Hunt, and Chuka Umunna.

Advertisement

In recent days, members of Kendall's team have suggested that supporters should use their second preferences to back specific candidates in an attempt to ensure that left-winger Jeremy Corbyn doesn't win.

But Kendall has refused to suggest that voters should back either Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper.

Advertisement

Occasionally, when you do get through, people don't believe it's really you who's calling and you have to convince them it is you on the phone. "Can the real Liz Kendall please stand up?"

vine.co
Advertisement

Kendall took time to speak to those she was calling, even if they didn't necessarily agree with her.

Siraj Datoo / BuzzFeed News

One party member said she found it hard to back Labour during the general election because she didn't want the party to introduce a "mansion tax" on large homes. The member's grandparents had bought a home in London on an NHS salary and because of the increase in house prices, were worried about how the proposed levy on expensive properties would affect them.

About half an hour after the media arrived, the photographers were asked if they wanted any more pictures. "Just pretend to be on the phone and look at us, please," they said. So this happened.

Kendall told reporters that the party should have used the leadership election as an opportunity to find out why voters in marginal seats didn't support them in the election.

"[The leadership election] should be a a debate with the public and why they feel we don't stand with them any more," said Kendall.

"Some of our candidates – those in marginal seats – said [during the general election] that too often it sounded like we spoke about the greedy and the needy and we won't win back marginal seats unless we represent a majority of people and can offer to deliver higher living standards."

Once the media left, so did everyone else.

But if you're a Labour member, don't be surprised if Liz Kendall calls you in the next few days.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.