Steerpike Steerpike

Watch: Rebecca Long-Bailey’s jaw-droppingly awful Sunday Politics interview

Oh dear. With Rebecca Long-Bailey widely touted as Jeremy Corbyn’s far-left successor, the Labour MP will be hoping to use this election campaign to show that she’s got what it takes to lead a party. So, it was a curious decision by Long-Bailey to appear on today’s Sunday Politics but refuse to answer any questions.

Given that the questions Andrew Neil threw at her centred on policy (a topic Labour brains say has not been given enough attention), it was somewhat surprising that Long-Bailey declined to be drawn on any details of the Labour policies revealed in the party’s leaked draft manifesto. Instead, it made for an awkward ten minutes as she refused to say much at all:

AN: The national grid, you’re also going to nationalise that, it carries our electricity round the country. It’s got a market capitalisation of £40bn. Why do you want to nationalise that?

RLB: Well, again Andrew, I’m not going to speculate on leaks. You’re just going to have to wait and see what’s in our manifesto on Tuesday.

AN: You’ve said you’re going to nationalise the national grid, so tell us why.

RLB: We’ve not. The leaks have suggested but I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait to see what’s in our final manifesto.

AN: So, is it a waste of time for me to ask you how you’re going to pay for something that’s worth £40bn

RLB: Well, I’d be patient Andrew. Just a couple of days to go.

Other lowlights included Long-Bailey’s refusal to explain what ‘trend GDP’ means on three separate occasions.

Of course, Long-Bailey could have simply saved everyone the trouble and waited ‘a couple of days’ to give an interview…

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Written by

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in