Rebecca Long-Bailey announces bid to become next Labour leader with 'socialist agenda'

Rebecca Long-Bailey has announced she will run to be the next Labour leader, arguing she can be trusted with the party’s “socialist agenda”.

In an article for Tribune Magazine, the shadow business secretary described the recent election result which saw Labour suffer its worst as “devastating” but called on the party to regroup against the climate crisis and the “march” of the far-right.

“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,” she said.

“It is true that one reason we lost the election was that Labour’s campaign lacked a coherent narrative.

“But this was a failure of campaign strategy, not of our socialist programme. Labour’s Green New Deal is the most ambitious agenda for tackling climate change of any major political party.

“And throughout the election it was consistently and tragically undersold.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey says she will uphold the party's socialist agenda. Credit: PA

She outlined her vision to rebuild the party, saying “we must go to war” with the “political establishment” with a pledge for a “constitutional revolution”.

This, she argues, should involve “sweeping away” the House of Lords, taking big money out of politics and shifting power away from Westminster.

She concludes: “We have a mountain to climb comrades, and the crises we face are stark. But we have our socialist vision, a path to victory and most importantly, we have each other.

“More than ever, Nye Bevan’s words ring true: ‘There is only one hope for humanity, and that is democratic socialism.’

“Our strength, determination and resilience will prevail. Together, we can do this.”

Ian Lavery, who was tipped to join the leadership contest, announced later on Monday he will not be standing.

In a statement shared on social media, he said he will instead throw his support behind Ms Long-Bailey and called on the party to never take working class communities for granted again.

  • Who else is in the running?

Jess Phillips, Sir Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry, Lisa Nandy and Clive Lewis are all running as well. Credit: PA

Sir Keir Starmer is favourite in the race to replace Mr Corbyn.

Also in the running are shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, Jess Phillips, Lisa Nandy and Clive Lewis.

Earlier on Monday, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, when revealing she would run for deputy, said she would back her "friend" and flatmate Ms Long-Bailey in the contest.