Heat is on for Yvette Cooper as she fights to be Labour leader

Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper has hit out after claims made by fellow Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn that he will reopen pits across the country if he becomes prime minister.

Ms Cooper, who is hoping to become the first female leader of the Labour party, said the claims by Mr Corbyn “were not enough.”

Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper

Her comments come after Mr Corbyn pledged to lead the ‘reindustrialisation’ of the north of England by reopening pits across the country during a speech in Leeds.

Ms Cooper said: “In towns like Knottingley the coal mines have been more than just a source of employment. They are part of the lifeblood of the community.

“That’s why I’ve fought from the start to keep the pits open - why we marched for Kellingley at the beginning of the year, and why I have continually called for the government to back state aid to keep our pits open. But as the NUM have said simply promising to re-open pits many years into the future isn’t enough.

“Unless we get the clean coal technology we need, with support to retain the skilled workforce in mining communities then it will be too late.”

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

In his speech Mr Corbyn said: “It is in the long term interest of the UK to rebuild a resilient industrial base and with its people, energy, land and water, the north of England is the place to lead this.

“There is a lack of faith in the Conservatives’ Northern Powerhouse agenda which combines power cuts for rail electrification with the devolution of crude cuts.

“The need for reindustrialising the north of England and providing the investment has never been stronger.”

Ms Cooper said she would continue fighting for the best deal for miners at Kellingley Colliery, which will close by the end of the year.