By Conrad Landin in Britain:
Rightwingers’ bid to get on platform
Monday 13th July 2015
Labour leadership hopefuls ‘all rang up for speaker slot’
But rivals Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper, who support continuing with a degree of Tory austerity and renewing Britain’s nuclear weapons, turned up anyway.
The Star has learnt that Mr Burnham’s advisers confronted organisers and asked if he could be a late addition to the running. After a last-minute meeting, the request was refused.
Durham Miners Association general secretary David Hopper told the assembly he was “sick to death of people who wouldn’t touch us with a bargepole phoning us asking to speak.”
All remaining candidates reportedly made such requests.
“As long as I’m general secretary of this union, there’ll be no rightwingers here,” Mr Hopper said.
“They need never pick up the phone again.”
Mr Hopper later told the Star there had been significant “pressure applied” by the candidates’ camps.
Mr Corbyn said speaking at the rally was “the greatest honour of my life.”
“It’s the duty and responsibility of whoever leads the unions and the Labour Party to be at the gala to show our support to those we are supposed to represent,” he said.
“When we look at our NHS and the principles of the welfare state, it’s on (the miners’) shoulders it was built,” he said.
When an aide of Ms Cooper approached the miners’ association with a request for their boss to speak, they were reportedly told by an organiser: “If you swim across that river, underwater, right to the other side and you come up alive … you still won’t get an invite to the Durham Miners’ Gala.”