Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham turn to YouTube in Labour leadership race

With just five days to go until voting opens in the Labour party leadership contest, candidates Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham have used YouTube videos to make their personal appeals to voters.

Kendall’s two-minute campaign video depicts her in her London campaign office drafting a letter to the party’s membership, appealing to them to consider which candidate would be best able to win the 2020 general election in before placing their vote.

Burnham’s video, which comes in at eight minutes long, focuses on the domestic setting, with kitchen table interviews with his parents and scenes of him baking in the kitchen with his daughters at home in Leigh.

In Kendall’s video, entitled “An open letter to the Labour party”, she reads the text from a letter she will send to party members. “You probably think I’m writing to ask you for your vote in the upcoming election for party leader,” she says. “And I am. But what really matters for our country and our party is another election – the one we’ll fight together in 2020.”

Kendall says she is standing to be Labour’s first female leader because she loves the party so much that she does not want to see it lose again.

“Like you, I am Labour because I want Britain to be more equal,” she says. “And our party is the greatest champion of equality and opportunity our country has ever known. The NHS. Sure Start. The minimum wage. The longer we’re out of power, the more these great successes are put at risk.”

In the film Kendall, who has been MP for Leicester West since 2010, tells party members that securing a Labour victory in the 2020 general election has to take priority. “I want you to be part of a winning team,” she says. “I won’t rest until we put our values into action in government because when Labour wins, so does our country.”

Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham’s YouTube campaign video.

Burnham’s campaign video shows the MP’s parents, Eileen and Roy, sitting around their kitchen table with his brother, Nick. “He’s in it to change lives and, alright he’s my brother, but I know he’d be the best leader for the Labour party and for the country,” says his brother.

Burnham’s wife, Marie-France van Heel, speaking for the first time in the campaign, talks about the couple’s first meeting at university and remembers him telling her he wanted to be an MP when he grew up.

“It’s always a bit of a balancing and a juggling act,” she says. “Three kids, two different schools, getting ready for work, screaming ‘where are your trainers’, tears, shoving them out of the door, you know typical family life.”

The video also contains an interview with constituent Sarah Taylor, who Burnham helped when her daughter, Nadia Fawzi, was kidnapped by the child’s father in Libya in May 2007, and Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, who says of leadership contender: “That one man was true to his word and that’s why he’ll always have my respect and admiration.”

Lord Falconer, a Labour peer and friend of Burnham’s, says that the MP displays the right values to be the party’s leader. “You see it with his family, you see it with his parents, you see it with his brothers, you see it with his wife, you see it with the children and it’s a very, very close, utterly genuine and rooted series of relationships.”

The videos come as veteran leftwing MP Jeremy Corbyn, who has represented Islington North since 1983, continues to gather momentum in the race to replace Ed Miliband as leader.

In June, Corbyn secured the necessary 35 nominations from fellow Labour MPs to get on the ballot with minutes to spare, when they decided it was important to have a representative of the party’s left in the race to broaden the debate. He has since become a surprise frontrunner, aided by new rules which allow non-members to vote for the new leader if they pay £3 and sign up as a registered supporter.

Powered by article was written by Frances Perraudin, for on Sunday 9th August 2015 20.00 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010