Katy Balls Katy Balls

Rebecca Long Bailey goes continuity Corbyn in leadership pitch

After weeks of speculation, Rebecca Long Bailey has finally announced that she is entering the race to be the next Labour leader. In an article for Tribune magazine, Long Bailey says she is standing for election on the grounds that Labour needs a ‘proud socialist’ to lead who is ‘driven by their principles and an unwavering determination to see democratic socialism in our lifetime’:

‘For all of these reasons and more, I have decided to stand for election to become the next leader of our Party. I don’t just agree with the policies, I’ve spent the last four years writing them. Labour’s Green New Deal, our plans to radically democratise the economy and to renew the high streets of towns across the country are the foundations for an economic transformation that will combat the climate crisis and hand back wealth and power to ordinary people.’

Long Bailey is unapologetically pitching herself as the continuity Corbyn candidate. She is to the left of her main rival Keir Starmer. In the article, the shadow business secretary – who is a close ally of John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn – suggests that the party’s disastrous election result was down to a ‘lack of a coherent narrative’ rather than a rejection of the Corbyn project. She focusses on criticising Labour pre-Corbyn rather than the current leadership. This includes the decision to work alongside David Cameron on the Remain campaign during the EU referendum: ‘We’ve also, at times, been too close to the establishment we are meant to be taking on – whether cosying up to Rupert Murdoch, joining forces with David Cameron in the Better Together campaign in 2014 or turning our focus inwards on parliamentary manoeuvring for the last year.’

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