Rebecca Long Bailey joins Labour leadership race

6 January 2020, 22:45 | Updated: 6 January 2020, 23:05

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey has joined the Labour leadership race
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey has joined the Labour leadership race. Picture: PA

Rebecca Long Bailey has become the latest Labour MP to join the party leadership race.

The shadow business secretary had long been expected to throw her hat into the ring, with reports last week billing her as the second favourite candidate behind Sir Keir Starmer.

With nominations due to open on Tuesday, Ms Long-Bailey - favourite of the Labour left - said she could be trusted to maintain "our socialist agenda".

Her comments will be seen as a thinly veiled swipe at shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir, who has been keen to stress his left-wing credentials despite being seen to come from a more centrist tradition.

Writing in the Tribune magazine, she said: "We need a proud socialist to lead the Labour Party, 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."

Ms Long Bailey also said she had delayed announcing her candidacy because she wanted to "time to reflect following the devastating results in December."

She added: "I didn’t emerge from the election with a ready-made leadership campaign because my every effort during the election went into campaigning for a Labour victory.

"I’m not driven by personal ambition, but by my principles and an unwavering desire to change our country and our world for the better.

"And those principles have led me here. I’m not your typical politician. I’m not a millionaire or a landlord, and I didn’t go to a posh school.

"Instead I’m a lifelong socialist, dedicated to our movement and determined to do my bit.

"You’re as likely to see me on a picket line as you are at the dispatch box, and you can trust me to fight the establishment tooth and nail."