Live
Sky News Labour leadership candidates
Can Jeremy Corbyn stay in the lead as he faces pressure from Cooper, Burnham and Kendall?Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The four Labour leadership hopefuls went head-to-head on live TV on 3 September for the final time, with the election result less than a week away. The political battle was aired on Sky News and was hosted by veteran journalist Adam Boulton and Kay Burley. The hustings, held in Gateshead, gave Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall the opportunity to close the gap on Jeremy Corbyn as the left-winger remains the front-runner in the race.

The result of the contest will be announced at a special conference on 12 September and, with ballot papers already sent out to thousands of supporters and members, the debate may have been the last chance for the candidates to get their arguments across. IBTimes UK followed the debate closely and has rounded up the event as it happened below.

Labour leadership election explained in 60 secondsIBTimes UK
20:39

The debate is now over and the most fiery exchange came at the end when Cooper tore into "Corbyn-omics". But the Sky News' poll said a whopping 84% of people thought that Corbyn won the debate, with Kendall on 7.8%, Burnham on 4.9% and Cooper on 2.9%. Do you agree? Let us know at @IBTUKPolitics.

20:33

Cooper launched a scathing attack against Corbyn, claiming that he is offering "false hope" and that his policy is tantamount to printing money. "You will let the Tories get away with their 40% cuts," she warns.

20:30

The candidates are now asking their own questions to one another. Kendall says she would work with Corbyn and stay in the party, but she wouldn't join his shadow cabinet. "None of you would believe me if I backed one of [Corbyn's] policies," she says.

Kendall asks Burnham when will the time be right for a female Labour leader. The former health secretary says it's got to be the person who can "reach out" and a lot of factors have to come into consideration. Kendall insists she is the best person for the job.

Burnham asks Cooper how would she unite the Labour Party. The shadow home secretary says she disagrees with Corbyn, but "in terms of common values" the two have a lot in common.

Cooper quizzes Corbyn over his quantitative easing for people policy. He argues that it is not inflationary and it would be a sensible thing to do.

20:22

How important do you consider faith schools to be in the future? Burnham, who says he went to such a school and sends his children to a similar institution, says they are important and blasts Michael Gove over his free schools and acadamies programme.

Cooper warns the government "have centralised everything". "Who do you call [if you have a problem]? Nicky Morgan?", she says in reference to the current education secretary.

Kendall, meanwhile, says "we have go to get away with the obsession with structures in schools". She argues that teachers are important and a "big reform" in the curriculum is needed.

Corbyn says faith schools are doing a good job but it's important that they teach of other faiths. "I don't want our young people to grow up in silos," he argues. The left-winger also says he agrees with his fellow candidates about centralisation worries.

20:14

Corbyn has been challenged over his defence policy positions. He revealed he can't think of any reason to deploy the British military. Cooper and Kendall also questioned his views over the UK's intervention in Kosovo. "The UN mission should have been more strongly supported from the beginning. Paved way for NATO to go into Kosovo," the left-winger said.

20:10

Corbyn said his party would have to discuss intervention and warned of "mission creep".

20:06

Should the UK puts boots on the ground to tackle Isis? Kendall says NO. "How do we actually tackle the funding of Isis? It's got to be part of a wider strategy." Burnham agrees. He says troops in the Syria is not for now. "Going to Syria with airstrikes raises all kinds of questions," he warns. Burnham wants time for "careful consideration". "There needs to be a process and a timetable set out," he adds.

Corbyn warns that if we bombed Syria we would kill civilians. He argues that it would make the situation worse, not better. "Where does Isis get its arms, money and oil from?" he says. The Islington MP says the solution needs to be political from the UK and the West to tackle Isis. "More deaths and horrors [would follow from more bombing," he concludes.

Cooper also agrees, "we shouldn't have UK troops on the ground". We should be working to support the region to combat the militant ground, she says. The former work and pensions secretary says Iraq should be one of the nations leading the fight against Isis and they need help from the UK.

19:58

Do you support the decriminalistion of medical cannabis?

19:54

It's now half-time in the Labour leadership debate and we're having a quick break. So far there hasn't been a big row, but Corbyn and Burnham have got a good crowd reaction. What is your take on proceedings? Let us know at @IBTUKPolitics.

19:45

On where Labour went wrong at the general election, Cooper said the party was "too narrow" and the reds need to "reach out in all directions". She also said it would take time to rebuild support in Scotland, where the SNP saw a surge in support.

Burnham claimed the people of England and Scotland had not drifted away from Labour, instead Labour have drifted away from them. He also said he would work with the SNP if he could stop the Tories.

19:40

19:36

Elsewhere, Burnham calls on Labour members to "stop fighting each other" and claims he is the candidate that can unite the party. Where as, Cooper says it is no good to look to past and become "an inward party". "We want to reach out across the country as well," she argues.

19:34

19:30

19:27

Question: Do you have to compromise on your principles to gain power?

19:21

The debate has switched from a discussion about the migration crisis to the EU's immigration policies. Kendall claims she is the strongest pro-EU candidate on the ballot.

But Corbyn says we need "a stronger Europe" and said questions need to be raised about how the EU has treated Greece during the country's debt crisis.

Elsewhere, Burnham argued that he would lead a "pro-EU party from day one".

19:11

Opening speeches on the migration crisis:

Cooper says the government must do more to help the refugees who are fleeing to Europe from the Middle East.

Burnham has called on the government to "act now" over the migrant crisis. The Leigh MP claimed the prime minister has shown an absence of leadership.

Kendall says the UK should be taking "tens of thousands" of asylum seekers. "Let's face up to the problems," the shadow health minister urges Cameron.

Corbyn says Britain "needs to take a fair share" and gets a round of applause after taking on host Adam Boulton.

19:06

18:34

Things are looking up for Yvette Cooper. The former work and pensions secretary has moved into second place, according to Ladbrokes. The bookmaker also revealed that Corbyn has seen his lead shorten ahead of tonight's debate.

18:20

Tatchell may be backing the left-winger, but James Bloodworth certainly isn't. The Left Foot Forward editor attacked the Islington MP in this piece for IBTimes UK.

The best case against Corbyn is not that he is a wild-eyed socialist, but instead goes back to my initial reminiscence: he is remarkably good at proffering apologetics for dictatorship and tyranny. As well as Gaddafi, Corbyn has in recent years championed/made excuses for Venezuelan autocrat Hugo Chavez, Russian gay-basher Vladimir Putin, the butcher of Bosnian Muslims Slobodan Milosevic and the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

18:05

Peter Tatchell, an activist and IBTimes UK columnist, has written about why he is backing Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership race. The full piece is here.

Jeremy is not a saint. He's never claimed to be. Even the best, most admirable politicians usually get some things wrong. Jeremy is no exception. On a majority of UK and foreign policy issues he's spot on, with real vision and an inspiring alternative. On a small number of issues he has made lamentable misjudgements. Despite these shortcomings, I'm backing his bid for the Labour leadership.