Rebecca Long-Bailey says she would put Jeremy Corbyn in her Cabinet as calls are made for the out-going Labour leader to be shadow foreign secretary
- Rebecca Long-Bailey said she would give Corbyn top job because she ‘loves him’
- She told supporters in south-east London about her plans for the failed leader
- Jeremy Corbyn led Labour to a crushing defeat in 2019 and lost 60 seats
The two hard-Left candidates running to lead Labour say they want Jeremy Corbyn to stay in frontline politics – after he led the party to its worst election result since 1935.
Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is standing to be leader, said she would give Mr Corbyn a top job because she ‘loves’ him. And Richard Burgon, who wants to be her deputy, said he had a ‘valuable role’ to play – perhaps even as Shadow Foreign Secretary.
Miss Long-Bailey, who is trailing Sir Keir Starmer in Labour’s leadership race, has been labelled the ‘Continuity Corbyn’ candidate after she gave him ten out of ten for his leadership.
It emerged at the weekend that she had told supporters in London that she would hand the failed leader a high-level brief if she was to succeed him.
‘Continuity Corbyn’ candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey said she would give failed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a ‘top role’. She is pictured at hustings in London on Sunday
Asked if she would give him a job if she got into N 10, the Labour business spokesman said: ‘I’d like to but I don’t know whether he wants to do it… It’s up to him. I love him so.’
Separately, Mr Burgon, who is standing as deputy leader, said he believed Mr Corbyn could play a ‘valuable role’ on the front bench. ‘If he was Shadow Foreign Secretary, that would be ideal,’ he said.
He called the Labour leader a ‘friend and a comrade’, adding: ‘I’ve never met a more principled, less egotistical person than Jeremy Corbyn. Plenty of his critics are not fit to lace his boots.’
Miss Long-Bailey has been publicly backed by hard-Left Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Jon Lansman, the founder of the pro-Corbyn Momentum group.
But speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show yesterday, she said she found it insulting being called the ‘Continuity Corbyn’ candidate.
She revealed her plans to supporters at a meeting in south-east London. She is pictured above talking to Jeremy Corbyn before addressing an audience at the University of Lancaster in November 2019
‘Everybody knows what I believe in and I’ll never deviate from that, but I’m very much my own person and to suggest I’m a continuation of any individual is quite disrespectful, not least because I’m a woman,’ she said.
But she backed Mr Corbyn’s policies, and added: ‘We’ve come so far and we’ve developed some of the most transformational policies that we’ve seen in a generation.’
Miss Long-Bailey also claimed there was nothing ‘radical’ in Labour’s election promise to spend £82.9billion extra a year by 2024 – and called for that level of spending to be retained as party policy.
‘We weren’t being radical in terms of our public spending plans,’ she claimed. ‘In fact we were way behind other leading industrial nations.’
She added that if she wins, Labour would not campaign to rejoin the European Union at the next election. ‘I think it will be absolutely disastrous to go into the next general election advocating a position of re-joining the EU,’ she said.
Miss Long-Bailey was also involved in a trans rights row after she called for a change in the law to stop women’s refuges excluding trans women. Last week she signed a 12-point charter put forward by a group called Labour Campaign for Trans Rights.
It demands the expulsion of anyone with ‘bigoted transphobic views’ from the party– and accused groups such as charity Women’s Place UK of being ‘transphobic’.
Some feminist groups, including Women’s Place UK, warn that women will feel unsafe in refuges if those who were born male are allowed to move in.
Yesterday Miss Long-Bailey said: ‘There is no conflict between rights of women and the protection of women, and safety in particular places, and trans rights.’