In a sharpening of her rhetoric against the Tories, the Labour leadership contender accused Cameron of ripping up nine pre-election promises. She said he had changed tack on areas ranging from child tax credits to housing and rail electrification.
Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: “We may have our own leadership election going on, but Labour can’t allow David Cameron to get away with this and carry on like nothing has happened – he is taking the British public for fools. We have to confront him directly on every lie and broken promise – that’s exactly what I plan to do in parliament and across the country.
“It’s time the prime minister and George Osborne were held to account for deceiving people and letting them down.”
Meanwhile, Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary and another Labour leadership candidate, pledged to phase out free schools and academies in a basket of pledges billed as more radical than the Labour election manifesto.
The momentum of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign showed no signs of slowing. The veteran MP for Islington North was due to address another packed meeting in Norwich on Thursday night after receiving a warm reception earlier in the day when he addressed a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament rally in London to mark the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.
The leadership campaign is intensifying ahead of the closing next Wednesday of the registration system to take part in the contest. Ballot papers will be dispatched two days later on 14 August.
Corbyn, long a supporter of unilateral nuclear disarmament, said he looked forward to leading his party into voting against the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapon system when MPs vote on the “main gate” decision next year.
He told the rally: “The British parliament will probably be invited to vote on the replacement of the Trident nuclear missile system and commit this country to £100bn on that replacement programme, including the running costs of the submarines and the weapons thereafter.
“It is an historic opportunity for British members of parliament to consider what is real security in the world. Is real security the ability of a society to provide housing, healthcare, social security, jobs, education and hope for its entire population?
“Or is real security to spend a phenomenal amount of money, which damages much else of our industrial base, on weapons of mass destruction that can only bring danger and threat to the rest of the world? I hope MPs think very very seriously before that vote takes place.”
Corbyn’s support for nuclear disarmament is an example of the sort of radicalism outside the current mainstream of British politics that is encouraging young supporters to sign up to vote for him in the leadership contest.
The three other frontbench leadership candidates all support multilateral nuclear disarmament in which the declared nuclear powers would agree to disarm together.
Cooper has responded to the Corbyn surge by outlining nine promises Cameron has broken since the election as she called on Labour to put aside its divisions and unite to oppose the Conservatives.
The nine areas identified by Cooper are:
- Cuts in child tax credits. Cooper said Cameron denied during the election that he would cut child tax credits. She said Osborne, the chancellor, unveiled £4.5bn of cuts to child tax credits in the budget which would hit women twice as hard as men.
- Cuts to child benefit after Cameron said during the election there would be no cuts beyond a two-year freeze. Cooper says it will now be subject to a four-year freeze.
- Cancellation of rail electrification plans.
- Downgrading of the number of affordable homes due to be built. The Office for Budget Responsibility has said 14,000 fewer homes will be built.
- Delaying of a decision on a new airport runway in south-east England. Downing Street says it is standing by its commitment to reach a decision by the end of this year.
- Delay in the introduction of tax-free childcare from 2015 to 2017.
- Shelving of an election pledge to give public officials three days off work to take part in volunteering.
- Delay until 2020 in the introduction of the social care cap.
- Reversal of pledge for greater government transparency after launch of review into freedom of information.
Cooper said: “It’s only three months since the election yet David Cameron has already ripped up nine major pre-election promises. It’s clear he never expected to deliver these plans in the first place.
“Yet he spent months before the election making promises about what he would do. From child tax credits to the railways, from a decision on Heathrow to tax-free childcare, the Tories have lied to the electorate.”
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