Labour’s Long-Bailey launches leadership bid with call for ‘new professionalism’

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Labour Party needs to do more to promote aspiration and look more like a government-in-waiting, the party’s business spokeswoman, Rebecca Long-Bailey, said when she formally launched her leadership campaign on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: British Labour Party MP Rebecca Long-Bailey speaks at the Labour party annual conference in Brighton, Britain September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is stepping down, after the party’s worst election performance since 1935 gave Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives a large majority in parliament.

Long-Bailey is currently second in the race to succeed Corbyn, behind the party’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer, according to a YouGov poll of party members for The Times newspaper.

Speaking to party members in Manchester, northern England, not far from where she grew up as the daughter of a trade union official, the 40-year-old lawyer said Labour had failed to convince the public they were competent to run the country.

“The truth is many didn’t trust us, whether it was Brexit, whether it was tackling anti-Semitism – they didn’t believe in us enough,” she said. “There is no point promising the world, if people don’t trust you with the basics,” she said.

Labour’s policy of renegotiating Johnson’s Brexit deal then holding a


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