UK Politics

Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn 'not bothered' by rivals' criticism

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Media captionJeremy Corbyn dismissed his critics and said he has put forward "serious economic proposals"

Left-wing Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn has brushed off criticism from his rivals, warning against the debate turning "puerile".

Ahead of an Edinburgh rally, he said he was "not really very bothered" by what others had to say about his campaign.

Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham have all attacked his plans, saying they are not credible and will make the party unelectable.

The row comes as voting opens in the contest to replace Ed Miliband.

Ballot papers are being sent out by the party, with than 600,000 people signed up to vote. Labour has said applications are still being verified.

Voting ends on 10 September, with the winner of the contest to be announced at a special conference on 12 September.

Labour leadership poll

610,753

total electorate, though this may fall as party removes those not entitled to vote

  • Of which, full party members: 299,755

  • Affiliated to a trade union: 189,703

  • Registered to vote by paying £3: 121,295

Ms Cooper and Ms Kendall have made separate calls for their supporters to back anyone but Mr Corbyn in the contest, warning that Labour would not be able to win an election under his leadership.

Mr Burnham also added his voice to criticism of the left-wing MP's policies, saying they lack financial and economic credibility.

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Image caption Jeremy Corbyn said he did not "reply to personal abuse"

Asked about criticism of his leadership bid as he arrived at the Edinburgh event, Mr Corbyn said he wanted to focus on policies.

"I don't reply to personal abuse, to personal attacks, to personal criticism because the policies are more important, the issues are more important," he said.

"We don't need to reduce our politics to a puerile level."

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Media captionYvette Cooper says Jeremy Corbyn is not strong enough to win a general election
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Media caption'I am the best person to win for Labour,' Andy Burnham told the BBC
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Media captionLiz Kendall is urging Labour supporters not to vote for Jeremy Corbyn

He also highlighted his "10-point plan" in Edinburgh ahead of a later visit to Glasgow, as he completed part of his tour of locations in Scotland.

It promises a commitment to "growth not austerity", nationalising the railways and energy sector, action on climate change and a plan for nuclear disarmament.

'Secluded drawing rooms'

Mr Corbyn said he hoped MPs from across the political divide would unite to defeat the government's Welfare Reform Bill, and also criticised the government's proposed union reforms and George Osborne's Budget.

He said making his manifesto a reality was a possibility but was "not going to be achieved by politicians in isolation handing down policies from secluded drawing rooms in secluded and comfortable parts of this country".

He also said people were "totally and absolutely and completely turned off by the politics of celebrity, personality, name-calling, abuse and all that kind of behaviour, so I'm not really very bothered about what anybody says about anybody in our campaign, including me".

The Islington North MP, who has held the seat since 1983, is currently the bookmakers' favourite to win the Labour leadership race.

His campaign has come under sustained criticism from senior figures in the party who have warned that a lurch to the left will keep Labour out of power.

Meanwhile, voting in the election for the new Scottish Labour leader ended at midday.

Scottish Parliament members Kezia Dugdale and Ken Macintosh are vying for the role vacated by former Labour MP Jim Murphy in June.

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