Labour leadership: Rebecca Long-Bailey enters race

Rebecca Long-Bailey Image copyright Reuters

Rebecca Long-Bailey has become the sixth candidate to join the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

In an article for the Tribune magazine, she said Labour needs a “socialist leader who can work with our movement, rebuild our communities and fight for the policies we believe in”.

She joins Sir Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry, Clive Lewis, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips in the contest.

The result of the contest will be announced on 4 April.

Meanwhile, party chairman Ian Lavery has said he will not be standing, but will throw his full support behind Ms Long-Bailey – “who has the intellect, drive and determination to take forward and develop the popular, common sense socialist policies that Jeremy Corbyn has championed”.

Elsewhere, Ian Murray, Scotland’s only remaining Labour MP, and Labour MP for Tooting Rosena Allin-Khan have become the latest candidates to announce they are running for deputy leader.

The three-month contest will officially get under way on Tuesday when nominations open and candidates face questions from MPs at the first hustings in Parliament.

Ms Long-Bailey, who has been shadow business secretary since 2016, is also believed to have the support of key figures within Mr Corbyn’s inner circle, including shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

She also has the backing of shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, who is standing for the deputy leadership.

Confirming her candidacy, the MP for Salford and Eccles said Labour had a “mountain to climb” to get back to power but there was a “path to victory” if the party stayed true to its socialist values.

How will the leadership race unfold?

  • 7-13 January: Nomination period for MPs and MEPs
  • 14-16 January: Application period for registered supporters
  • 15 January – 14 February: Second stage of nominations from Constituency Labour Parties (CLP) and affiliates, including unions
  • 20 January: Freeze date for voting eligibility for new members and affiliated supporters
  • 21 February: Ballot opens
  • 2 April: Ballot closes
  • 4 April: Special conference to announce results

She said Labour’s election defeat last month, its fourth in a row, was due to a failure of campaign strategy and the “lack of a coherent narrative” rather than a repudiation of its policies.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that many of the “positive elements” of the party’s manifesto “really weren’t pushed to the extent that they should have been” during December’s election campaign.

If elected leader,

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